Anesthesia and Brain Damage
Any surgical procedure carries a degree of risk. Many of these risks are directly associated with the use of anesthesia. While there is no way to guarantee that anesthesia will not lead to complications, patients do have a right to expect a certain standard of care from their anesthesiologist or any other medical professional overseeing a procedure.
Medical malpractice defines any situation in which subpar care causes a patient to suffer from avoidable damages. Care is considered subpar if it fails to meet the standard of care that would have been provided by a similarly trained medical professional in the same situation.
When problems with anesthesia result in brain damage, those in the Orange County, CA area should speak to experienced medical malpractice attorney Sean Burke to find out if they have a right to seek financial compensation.
Dangerous Anesthesia Errors
Because of the risks of anesthesia, patients should be closely monitored while they under the effects of anesthesia and as they recover from their surgical procedure. Unfortunately, patients are not always monitored as they should be, and anesthesiologists sometimes make serious errors that can lead to catastrophic consequences for the patient.
Some of the most dangerous anesthesia errors include:
- Failure to monitor blood flow: When a patient is under anesthesia, it is vital to monitor how much blood is flowing to the brain. The brain needs oxygen-rich blood for its cells to live. A failure to monitor this blood flow can lead to stroke and brain damage.
- Failure to recognize that a patient has vomited: Even when a patient is under the effects of anesthesia, it is still possible for them to vomit. If a patient vomits and the doctors do not notice, the patient can inhale the vomit. Vomit in the lungs can cause labored breathing, which can decrease the amount of oxygen in the blood and brain.
- Intubation errors: It is common to place a tube in the trachea to keep the airway open during surgery. If a patient is not intubated correctly, the airway can become blocked and the brain can be deprived of oxygen.
- Failure to monitor a patient after surgery: Even after surgery is complete, a patient’s breathing and oxygen levels should be closely monitored.
When it comes to the brain and oxygen deprivation, every second counts. Even if the brain is deprived of oxygen for just a few short moments, it can lead to long-term brain damage.
Brain damage may result in cognitive difficulties, physical disabilities, or behavioral changes. Each of these has the potential to permanently alter a person’s way of life.
While there is nothing that can be done to erase the effects of brain damage, victims of brain damage linked to medical malpractice do have a right to seek compensation for their losses.
Potential damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit include medical expenses, lost wages, loss of wage-earning potential, pain and suffering, and diminished quality of life.
If you or a loved one has suffered brain damage that you believe is the result of medical malpractice, you should contact attorney Sean Burke at your earliest convenience. Call (949) 644-3434 to discuss the details of your case and learn more about your legal options.