Anesthesia and Catastrophic Oregon Medical Malpractice

How an Undiagnosed Heart Attack Could be Medical Malpractice in Oregon anesthesia

How an Undiagnosed Heart Attack Could be Medical Malpractice in Oregon anesthesia

Understanding Anesthesia and Catastrophic Oregon Medical Malpractice From Our Portland Lawyer


Like all medical procedures, anesthesia could rustle in serious personal injuries.  Especially if it is negligently administered, monitored, or otherwise cased for.  It is important to understand what anesthesia is and how it works to understand the risks and how it can cause catastrophic injury or disability due to Oregon surgical errors or medical malpractice. 


What is Anesthesia?


Anesthesia is something that is administered to a patient during a surgery or other medical procedure, to make them more comfortable and undergo a surgery pain-free. There are four main types of anesthesia: general anesthesia, IV/monitored sedation, regional anesthesia, and local anesthesia. Anesthesiologists are doctors who specialize in anesthesia and also monitor a patient’s vitals and breathing patterns while they are under anesthesia. Our Oregon medical malpractice attorney can review the anesthesia you underwent, to ensure it was carried out properly.


General anesthesia is a combination of medications used when one undergoes surgery or another medical procedure, to make them unconscious and not feel pain. This is used for instances such as knee-surgery, open-heart surgery, and like surgeries and procedures.


IV/monitored sedation is when sedation and analgesics are injected in a vein with an IV. IV/monitored sedation is not like general anesthesia, in that the patient becomes unconscious. Rather, here, a patient remains conscious, but at a varying level of sedation, depending on how much sedation fluid is needed.


Regional anesthesia is pain management that only numbs a large part of the body. It is given through injection or through a catheter. During regional anesthesia, the patient is awake. Examples include epidurals and spinal blocks.


Local anesthesia is a one-time injection that numbs a certain, small area of the body. The patient here is awake, but pain in the small area will not be felt.


Risks of Anesthesia


While any surgical procedure comes with risks, those associated with the administration of anesthesia can prove particularly severe and even fatal. General anesthesia is the riskiest, given that you are completely unconscious. 


First, if you are in an older population, it is extremely important to notify your medical care provider of any medical conditions you have and any medications you are on. Otherwise, postoperative delirium or cognitive dysfunction is may occur. Postoperative delirium or cognitive dysfunction is when long-term memory and learning complications result from anesthesia. It is more common in the elderly, as anesthesia affects that group more negatively, since the brain does not recover as quickly. However, it can happen to anyone.


Similarly, if you are in an older population and have heart disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, or history of stroke, you are more likely to get postoperative delirium or cognitive dysfunction.


Second, those with sleep apnea need to be overly aware of the risks associated with anesthesia, due to their condition. Sleep apnea, a condition that entails the ceasing of breathing during sleep, is particularly affected by anesthesia because anesthesia can cause sleep apnea patients’ throats to close. Additionally, sleep apnea makes it more difficult for a patient to wake up from anesthesia.


Third, malignant hyperthermia is a risk to some anesthesia patients as well. With malignant hyperthermia, a quick fever and muscle contractions occur during anesthesia and can prove fatal. If a patient has had heat stroke before, they should alert the anesthesiologist prior to the procedure.


Other conditions or experiences the patient has had that could make anesthesia riskier include:


  • Allergies to anesthesia
  • Past negative reaction to anesthesia
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney issues
  • Lung issues
  • Obesity
  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Neurological disorders
  • Smoker
  • Drinking two or more alcoholic beverages a day
  • Use of aspirin and other medications that increase bleeding
  • Drug allergies


More, it is essential that your medical care provider asks you what medications you are currently on. It needs to be clarified what you can and cannot take while under anesthesia and undergoing a particular medical procedure. Contact our Oregon medical malpractice attorney to discuss whether your medical care provider properly reviewed these risks with you prior to your anesthesia procedure.


Victims of Medical Malpractice in Oregon Due to Anesthesia Should Call Us


If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.


Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.


We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.

    For a free case evaluation, fill out the form below

    The use of the internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

    OR Call
    Bend, Oregon: (541) 385-1999
    Portland: (503) 479-3646
    Minnesota: (612) 444-3374

    Our Office

    Kuhlman Law, LLC
    160 NW Irving Ave, Suite 203
    Bend, OR 97703