Anesthesia has been one of the most important developments produced by modern medicine. Not that long ago, people who required intense medical intervention, such as the setting of a broken bone or a life-saving surgery, would have very limited options for pain relief. The result of inadequate pain management could be shock, a condition that can prove fatal without treatment.
Modern anesthesia allows for doctors to perform incredibly delicate and potentially painful procedures without the patient being aware of what happens. It has improved the prognosis for those who must experience surgery or other painful treatments.
Unfortunately, anesthesia also carries a relatively significant risk to patients who have to undergo surgery. The potential is always there for an adverse reaction to the anesthesia that a doctor administers. If you or someone you love wound up hurt or dead because of improperly administered or poorly monitored anesthesia, you may have the right to take legal action in Ohio.
Thousands of people suffer from anesthesia mistakes each year
An analysis of recent adverse drug events shows that many people are vulnerable in the moments leading up to a surgical procedure. Roughly 5% of all drug reactions involve pre-surgical medication. Approximately 79,500 people have a negative reaction to professionally administered anesthesia in the United States each year.
For some of these people, the consequences could be permanent injury or even death. Anesthesia often slows both your heart rate and your respiration, which could prove fatal if too much of a compound enters your bloodstream. It is also possible for a person to have an allergy to a particular anesthesia if they have never been given that drug before.
Anesthesiologists, who are medical specialists that receive extensive training on how to properly administer these risky and potentially deadly medications, should carefully monitor patients and use the lowest potential safe dosage of the medication they choose to administer. When they make mistakes, it is the patient on the operating table who may end up paying the price.
Anesthesia is one of the most dangerous things about surgery
While anesthesia may be an advancement that makes otherwise intolerably painful medical procedures available to those who need them, it also generates a substantial amount of the risk that patients face during a surgery.
That risk is why anesthesiologists undergo rigorous training. It is also why the pharmaceutical industry is constantly striving to find safer and more effective medications.
For those who suffer an adverse event related to anesthesia or who lose a loved one for that reason, the fact that anesthesia benefits others is likely a cold comfort. It may be possible to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the anesthesiologist involved in the procedure or to file a malpractice-related lawsuit depending on the circumstances.