Hospital Anesthesia Errors in Oregon

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

How Hospital Anesthesia Errors in Oregon Can Cause Serious Personal Injuries


Anesthesia is used for countless medical procedures and surgeries every day without incident. Anesthesia is used to sedate the patient or minimize pain or discomfort during a procedure or surgery. While there are always anesthesia risks that come into play while undergoing a procedure, these risks are usually minimal. When an anesthesiologist or surgeon fails to make the appropriate decision for the type of anesthesia used as well as the appropriate amount of anesthesia administered, serious complications can occur. Hospital anesthesia errors in Oregon can result in catastrophic personal injuries and wrongful death.  Our Oregon anesthesia medical malpractice lawyers understand just how serious anesthesia complications can be and are prepared to review your case to determine if your anesthesia complications were a direct result of medical malpractice. 


Generally, patients will receive anesthesia in really one of two places.  The most common is at a hospital and usually for a surgery.  Whether that is an elective or planned surgery, or a surgery as a result of an emergency, most anesthesia encounters are a hospitals.  This is why hospital anesthesia errors in Oregon and more common.  The second place for anesthesia errors are at surgical centers or outpatient facilities that are preforming smaller and minor surgeries that generally do not require hospitalization or carry any significant risks.  A common example would be tonsil removal.


Types of Anesthesia


General Anesthesia – General anesthesia is used for more significant operations (i.e. open-heart surgery, more lengthy spinal surgeries, lung surgeries, etc.). For this type of anesthesia, intubation is required for breathing support as the individual is unable to breathe on their own due to the general anesthesia. 


Local Anesthesia – Local anesthesia is used to numb and area for a mild procedure (i.e. mole removal, biopsies, suturing a cut, tooth extraction, etc. Local anesthesia does not cause drowsiness or sedation. 


Regional Anesthesia – Regional anesthesia refers to anesthesia that numbs a specific body part. Examples of these are spinal and epidural blocks which can cause complete numbness in the legs or abdomen. While these areas may have no sensation, this type of anesthesia does not cause any drowsiness or sedation. 


Sedation – Sedation decreased the awareness of the individual undergoing the procedure. This causes the person undergoing sedation to have limited response to external stimuli. People typically are unable to remember the procedure that has occurred. Unlike general anesthesia, breathing support is often (but not always needed).


Examples of Medical Malpractice Related Anesthesia Complications


While complications such as allergic reactions to anesthesia cannot always be known prior if there is no history of allergic reaction, there are other complications that often are due to medical malpractice. Examples of some of these complications include the following:


  • Stroke
  • Paralysis
  • Brain Damage
  • Asphyxia
  • Coma
  • Heart attack 
  • Damage to the teeth from improper intubation
  • Death
  • Nerve Damage
  • Pneumonia
  • Anaphylaxis 


How Can Medical Malpractice Cause These Anesthesia Errors?


There are many reasons why hospital anesthesia errors in Oregon can happen and cause serious personal injuries or the wrongful death of an innocent person.  These include the following reasons that could be due to the reckless, careless, and downright negligent conduct of a healthcare provider:


Too Much Anesthesia Given – If too much anesthesia is given, patients may experience complications including brain damage, stroke, coma and even damage to vital organs. 


Not Enough Anesthesia Given – If the patient is under dosed with anesthesia, the patient can suffer serious complications. If the patient is under dosed, they may experience something called anesthesia awareness. This is a horrific situation as the patient is able to feel and hear everything that is going on during the surgery, but are unable to let the anesthesiologist know. This can cause serious emotional trauma to the patient. 


Failure to Monitor the Patient – If an anesthesiologist is not monitoring the patient closely, (i.e. turning alarms off, leaving the room for any period of time, failing to notice if the patient vomits), this can lead to serious complications including brain damage, stroke, heart attack, coma, and asphyxia along with many other complications. 


Prolonged Sedation – Prolonged sedation is sedation longer than the safe specified amount of time. Prolonged sedation can lead to any of the complications above. Anesthesiologists are aware of how long is too long for sedation and therefore complications from prolonged sedation can be avoided. 


Failure to Identify Anesthesia Complications – Failure to identify if a patient is having an allergic reaction, is in distress or has aspirated can cause serious consequences to the patient. It is the anesthesiologists role to monitor the patient and respond accordingly based on the situation. 


Inaccurate Placement of Anesthesia – This most often occurs with regional anesthesia or local anesthesia. If a spinal or epidural block is placed incorrectly, this could lead to permanent paralysis of the patient. Additionally, if local anesthesia (i.e. for dental work) is placed improperly, this could lead to permanent numbness and loss of sensation for the patient. Additionally, improper regional anesthesia placement can result in heart attack or stroke. 


Failure to Intubate a Patient in Respiratory Distress – While intubation is not often needed during monitored sedation, there are times when it is indicated. It is the anesthesiologists role to identify if the patient is in distress and needs intubating or another scenario occurs that requires intubation. Failure to do so can cause irreversible brain damage or even death.


Improper Intubation of a Patient – If a patient is improperly intubated, this can cause serious respiratory complications which can lead to brain damage or even death. Additionally, an untrained person intubating a patient may cause damage to the person’s teeth which could require dental procedures to repair these damages. 


Our Lawyers Help Victims After Hospital Anesthesia Errors in Oregon Hurt Them


While there are some errors that sometimes cannot be avoided (i.e. allergic reaction, post procedure nausea vomiting, etc.), there are many other complications that can be avoided if anesthesia is administered in a safe and monitored way. Anesthesia complications can range from mild complications to even wrongful death. 


Our Oregon anesthesia medical malpractice lawyers understand just how serious and avoidable these complications can be and are ready and willing to review your case for FREE today. If complications are found to be due to medical malpractice, you may be eligible for compensation. Compensation for this type of malpractice claim includes:


  • Pain and suffering
  • Long term care (if the patient now will require long term care)
  • Lost wages
  • Lost future earnings
  • Coverage for therapies needed (i.e. speech, occupational or physical therapy)
  • Coverage for therapy required due to emotional trauma as a result of anesthesia (i.e. anesthesia awareness)
  • Medical bills
  • Future medical treatments


These are just a few of the many indications for damages. You and your loved ones deserve compensation if medical malpractice played a part in anesthesia complications. 


Our Lawyers Handle Hospital Anesthesia Errors in Oregon


Victims who are seriously injured due to hospital anesthesia errors in Oregon should call to learn what their rights to compensation could be.  This is because injuries such as brain damage, nerve injuries, organ damage, and even wrongful death could be caused by the negligence of a healthcare provider at a hospital or outpatient surgery center that misuse anesthesia.  


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.

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