Stephen M. O'Brien III, PLLC - Personal Injury Attorneys
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Anesthesia medication errors can lead to complications

In our blog post last week, we discussed the death of Joan Rivers. Her daughter Melissa has sent out a message that her mother’s death wasn’t acceptable. Melissa filed a civil lawsuit for wrongful death. That might have some of our readers wanting to know more about anesthesia. Some points about general anesthesia might shock our Kentucky readers.

One point that some people don’t realize about anesthesia is that when you are put to sleep under general anesthesia, your brain won’t respond to the pain stimuli that occurs during the surgery. That’s why you don’t feel pain. One issue that comes up with the administration of anesthesia is that your breathing has to be controlled and assisted. This requires the medical team to be focused as they care for you. They have to closely monitor your bodily functions. Sadly, that doesn’t always happen.

There are several things that can go wrong when it comes to general anesthesia. In some cases, people are given muscle relaxers prior to the surgery. If the anesthesia isn’t effective, those muscle relaxers might prevent the person from letting the surgical team know they are feeling pain or are otherwise distressed. Other complications, such as heart attacks, mental confusion, stroke and lung infections are also possible. In addition, as was evidenced in the Joan Rivers case, death is also possible.

Despite the risks associated with general anesthesia, many doctors still use this so they can do surgeries that can help a person. It is vital for all doctors to go over the potential risks with all patients prior to surgery so that the patient can understand all the risks. If you are harmed by general anesthesia because of improper administration of the anesthesia, medication errors or improper monitoring, you might choose to seek compensation for your injuries.

Source: Mayo Clinic, “General anesthesia” accessed Feb. 04, 2015

O'Brien Batten & Kirtley, PLLC is located in Lexington, KY and serves clients in and around Lexington, Keene, Nicholasville, Versailles, Midway, Georgetown, Wilmore, Paris, Bourbon County, Fayette County, Jessamine County, Scott County and Woodford County.

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