For many people, the fear of going in for surgery has more to do with the lack of awareness or consciousness during the surgery than anything else. When someone requires surgery, they will typically be given some type of anesthesia drug to ensure they remain asleep throughout the procedure. However, if the anesthesia is performed incorrectly or the dosages are incorrect it is possible for a patient to wake up or experience anesthesia awareness. When anesthesia awareness or waking up during surgery occurs the patient is aware of their surroundings and can recall events related to the surgery. Sometimes anesthesia awareness can be painful and is often both physically and mentally traumatizing.
UNDERSTANDING ANESTHESIA AWARENESS
Anesthesia is used as a tool to numb and sedate individuals in need of various types of medical procedures. There are different forms of anesthesia available depending on the circumstances and needs of the patient. Regional anesthesia affects one portion of the body and local anesthesia applies to only a very small part of the body. General anesthesia is used to render the patient completely unconscious. When issues occur while using general anesthesia, cases of anesthesia awareness can occur.
When an individual requires general anesthesia an anesthesiologist is responsible for administering the appropriate drug to the patient. The anesthesiologist provides the patient with the correct drug, at the appropriate dosage, at the right time. If an anesthesiologist performs their job incorrectly, neglects to pay close attention to the patient, or fails to provide the patient with all of the necessary information prior to the procedure they could be liable for the resulting injury.
MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE & ANESTHESIA ERRORS
When a anesthesiologist administers anesthesia and makes an error components of the medication could become ineffective because of the nature of anesthesia drugs. For example, the paralytic component could be ineffective while the sedative remains functional causing the patient to move involuntarily during surgery even though they are unconscious. Conversely, the paralytic could work though the sedative may not leaving the patient in a state of anesthesia awareness.
When anesthesia awareness occurs the patient could be rendered unable to move even though they are awake and aware of what is going on around them. The paralytic could leave the individual unable to speak or open their eyes even though they can hear doctors speaking and performing the medical procedure. In some cases individuals have reported being able to feel the surgery as it occurred.
HOW THE MELLINO FIRM CAN HELP
Anesthesia awareness might occur if the anesthesiologist provides a drug that is a known allergy to the patient and a negative reaction occurs or the anesthesiologist fails to monitor the patient properly and administer the correct dosage of the drug. If a doctor or anesthesiologist makes a mistake during the procedure or in the preparation phase, they could be held liable for the resulting damage. Anesthesia awareness can be traumatizing and may lead to PTSD, emotional trauma, as well as other issues. In some cases, the patient may have suffered physical harm due to the ineffectiveness of the anesthesia. For example, if the patient wakes up he or she may attempt to remove the endotracheal tube, resulting in damage to their mouth, throat, or trachea.
If you woke up during anesthesia, you may be eligible to seek compensation from the hospital, medical facility, or doctor responsible. Damages may include compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of wages, and more. Allow our experienced attorneys to help you seek justice from the liable party.