Having a medical procedure that requires anesthesia is a serious matter. Special steps must be followed to ensure the safety of the patient and a successful outcome. Fortunately, most of the time anesthesiologists and doctors follow the proper standard of care and the procedure is completed with a positive result.
However, mistakes can occur during a procedure that requires anesthesia. When they do, an investigation by legal professionals into the procedure by searching the pre-operative records, the operative report and the post-op records may be needed to discover if a breach of the standard of care did occur.
Cases of Michigan anesthesia mistakes become viable medical malpractice cases when the standard of care is breached. In legal terms, the standard of care is how similarly qualified practitioners would have managed the patient’s care under the same or similar circumstances.
There are four primary types of anesthesia:
- General anesthesia is usually used for major surgical procedures and involves a total loss of consciousness.
- Spinal anesthesia (epidural) is generally used for surgery involving the lower body.
- Regional anesthesia (nerve blocks) is injected near a nerve to temporarily block pain signals to the brain.
- Local anesthesia involves numbing of the skin and the surrounding tissues.
Administering any type of anesthesia is a delicate procedure and can be dangerous if done incorrectly. There are many causes for anesthesia error. Below are the more common examples:
- Delayed anesthesia delivery
- Anesthesia dosage error – overdose or under dose
- Failure to properly administer oxygen during surgery
- Failure to properly monitor the patient
- Improper intubation
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Ask Lee Free
Q: I know what anesthesia is, but I don’t understand the difference between the different types?
A: There are three common types of anesthesia: Local, Regional and General. Local anesthesia is used to numb a specific area of the body such as a tooth. Regional anesthesia is used to numb larger areas of the body. General anesthesia results in unconsciousness and lack of physical sensation.
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