Anesthesia Awareness Is A Serious Issue


Patients who undergo surgical procedures will usually enter an unconscious or semi-conscious state through the use of anesthesia.  This allows the patient to undergo the surgery without pain.  There are a number of reasons anesthesia errors can occur, but often the errors result from negligence.  Anesthesia errors can result in a particularly serious type of harm, anesthesia awareness.

Anesthesiologists have a responsibility to regulate the patient’s consciousness correctly during surgical procedures.  If an insufficient dose of anesthesia is administered, the patient could wake up during the procedure.  Should this occur, it can be particularly horrifying for the patient.  Oftentimes the patient is paralyzed and not able to speak but they are aware of what is occurring, and may even experience extreme pain during the surgery.  Research has shown that nearly half of patients who have experienced anesthesia awareness have heard conversations occurring in the operating room.  Others have felt as if they could not breathe.  Others have felt the pain of surgery.

Anesthesia awareness can be extremely traumatizing, both physical and/or emotionally.  The emotional trauma that can result from anesthesia awareness can result in a patient who has developed post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep problems, and/or anxiety disorders.

Anesthesia awareness can occur because a patient has reacted unexpectedly to a type or the dosage of a general anesthetic.  The patient could have been given a light dose on purpose because of the instability or severity of their condition.  Another reason anesthesia awareness may occur because a medication has masked signs that a patients has not been given enough anesthesia.  However, a medical professional’s error or equipment failure can also result in anesthesia awareness.

If anesthesia awareness resulted from professional error or equipment failure, the injured patient can seek compensation for their losses and suffering.  If you or a loved one was injured due to an anesthesia error and/or has experienced anesthesia awareness, contact an experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.  You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

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