Anyone who has surgery or an operation will likely receive some form of anesthesia. There are three basic types of anesthesia: general anesthesia produces a loss of sensation throughout the entire body; regional anesthesia produces a loss of sensation in a specific region of the body; and local anesthesia produces a loss of sensation in a small, specific area of the body.
Statistics show that anesthesia today is safer and more effective than ever before. But errors still occur, and unfortunately the results can be tragic and may be the result of medical malpractice. The most serious complications from anesthesia mistakes are brain damage, paralysis, nerve injury and death. Nerve damage or paralysis can occur from direct trauma to a nerve during an injection of anesthesia, such as an epidural or spinal anesthetic.
Another serious problem related to anesthesia is medical gas mix-ups. While rare, these mistakes happen and there was a New Haven, Connecticut case in which two patients died because they received nitrous oxide instead of oxygen in a cardiac catheterization lab. According to a report from ECRI, an independent health services research agency, the gas mixup probably occurred because one of the small tabs on the oxygen fitting of the gas supply system was reportedly broken off. That would have allowed it to be connected to the nitrous oxide gas outlet without changing the fitting.
If you think that you or a loved one was injured by an anesthesia mistake or complication, the attorneys at McEnery Price Messey & Sullivan may be able to help with medical malpractice claim investigation. Call Bob Messey, our doctor-attorney, or Gayle Sullivan, our nurse-attorney, and give us the basic information about what happened. We have experience litigating cases of anesthesia accidents. Potential recovery includes medical expenses, future costs of medication, treatment, and rehabilitation, lifelong therapy, lost wages and loss of earning capacity.