For many people, the fear of going in for surgery has more to do with the lack of awareness than anything else. When someone requires surgery, they will typically be given some type of anesthesia drug to ensure they sleep throughout their procedure. However, if the anesthesia is performed incorrectly, or if the dosages are incorrect, it is possible for a patient to remain aware of their surroundings during a surgery. This issue, called anesthesia awareness, can sometimes be painful and is often both physically and mentally traumatizing.
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If you or someone you love experienced an anesthesia awareness incident, our firm is prepared to help. For more than three decades, The Mellino Law Firm has provided compassionate, skilled legal representation to injured individuals throughout Cleveland and beyond. We have ample experience working on medical malpractice cases and our attorneys are dedicated to providing focused attention and one-on-one legal guidance to each of our clients.
We understand how difficult it can be to deal with an anesthesia lawsuit, and we know how traumatized you must feel. For that reason, we want to help provide you with the legal support you need so that you can focus on healing and recovering from your ordeal.
Call The Mellino Law Firm at (440) 276-3535 today to request a free consultation.
Understanding Anesthesia Awareness
Anesthesia is used as a tool to numb and sedate individuals in need of various different 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, on the other hand, is supposed 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 doctor administers anesthesia, several different issues could occur. Because of the nature of anesthesia drugs, certain components of the medication could become ineffective if the anesthesiologist makes an error. 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. Although the affects may vary, 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 even reported being able to feel the surgery as it occurred.
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Anesthesia awareness might occur if the anesthesiologist provides the patient with a drug they have a known allergy to, potentially resulting in a negative reaction. Also, if the anesthesiologist fails to monitor the patient properly and readminister the correct dosage of the drug, the patient could partially wake up during the procedure.
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.
Contact The Mellino Law Firm LLC to discuss your anesthesia awareness case with our Cleveland medical malpractice lawyers.