Anesthesiologists Hold the Lives of Patients in their Hands
When the lights go out prior to surgery, patients want to know they will wake up in one piece.
Cleveland, OH (Law Firm Newswire) January 5, 2011 - “People facing surgery in hospitals often have second thoughts as the day draws closer. It is frightening to think of giving up control over your life to someone you may not ever meet. And you surely do not want to be meeting them in court later either if they are being sued for medical malpractice,” said Christopher Mellino. Mellino is a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer of the Mellino Law Firm LLC, in Ohio.
Most people understand that they cannot be awake during surgery due to the inability to withstand the excruciating pain it would cause. One wonders how WWI and WWII soldiers dealt with the pain of surgery during battle when often the only anesthetic was strong whiskey. Today of course, there are many variations of anesthesia to be administered, depending on what the patient is able to tolerate.
If anesthesia is not administered in a safe manner, it may cause more harm than the surgery. It fact, it may mean they die as a result of the anesthesia.
“Typically speaking, most anesthesia errors are the direct result of human error. The physician who is giving it must take painstaking care when dosing a patient. Their responsibility does not end there. They are also mandated to monitor the patient. Literally, your life is in their hands. If something goes wrong because the doctor was not paying attention, they may be guilty of medical malpractice,” Mellino said.
The most common errors that take place during surgery and involving the anesthesiologist included giving the wrong dose for the patient, leaving a person sedated too long, not carefully monitoring vital signs while they are out and/or improperly inserting the tube used to deliver anesthesia. Any one of these mistakes has the potential to lead to serious, if not deadly, complications. “Those complications could include choking, heart attacks or a stroke. And in really serious cases, death is the outcome. More so the longer someone is under,” Mellino said.
Injuries like this tend to happen because some doctors may be overly confident that they know how a patient will react to a certain anesthetic, when in fact, every person reacts differently. Those with the most experience putting people under, while they may be confident, may still make mistakes. Those who are new to the practice may not be completely familiar with the proper procedures. There are also doctors who just do not care about the patient and make mistakes out of habit.
“None of those reasons makes negligence acceptable. Even if the error was a genuine mistake, it does not excuse their actions. It does not let them off the hook from being sued in a medical malpractice case,” Mellino said.
Mellino Law Firm LLC
200 Public Sq. Suite 2900
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Call: (216) 241-1901
- January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and although we’ve come so far in diagnosing and treating it, medical negligence still occurs more than it should. According to recent reports, cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35 with roughly 3,000 ladies being diagnosed annually in countries like the UK. For those in […]
- Medical Malpractice and Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy, or CP, is a neurological condition that causes lifelong problems with movement, muscle tone, or posture. Some people with CP also have trouble with hearing, vision, speech, intellectual development, and other functions of the nervous system. When a doctor examines your child, any symptoms your child has may be classified by: Is the […]
- Trick Or Treat? Ensuring Your Child’s Safety This Halloween
According to the Safe Kids Worldwide research, children are twice as likely to be killed by a car while walking on Halloween night than at any other time of year. So what can you do to keep your child safe during this highly anticipated holiday? Here are a number of basic safety guidelines: Use reflective […]