Anaesthesia - Medical Negligence Lawyers – Compensation Claims

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Anaesthetic Purpose

People have anaesthesia in order to manage pain during surgery or related procedure. It is able to control the flow of blood, the heart rate, the heart rhythm and blood pressure. The purpose is to provide:

  • Relaxation during surgery.
  • Blockage of pain fibers.
  • Helping you forget the procedure.
  • Making you sleepy.
  • Making it so that you’re unconscious during the surgery.

Anaesthetic Types

What are the types?

  • Local, which involves injecting a medication through the skin or on the skin in order to block the pain in a small area of the body.
  • Regional, which blocks a nerve proximal to the surgical site so that a larger area is numb for surgery. You can have a peripheral nerve block that blocks specific peripheral areas. You can also have a spinal or epidural nerve block that involves putting an anesthetic in the spinal area to block everything beneath the blocked area.
  • General, which involves injecting the medication so that the brain is affected and you become unconscious. Someone has to breathe for you during the procedure.

How do you know which type to use? The type to be considered depends on your past and current health. If you have had problems with other surgeries, this should be considered. If you have heart disease or diabetes you are at greater risk. If family members have a known allergy, you might have the same allergy. Certain surgeries require general anaesthesia and others can get by with regional or local surgery. If the EKG is questionable, the anesthesiologist may make a call against anesthesiology.

Anaesthesia Complications

This procedure can have complications even though it is generally considered safe. Local, carries the least risk and general, carries the most risk. Allergic reactions to the medication can be very dangerous and can happen with any type. Most people don’t know they have an allergy.

Complications of regional anaesthesia include weakness and paralysis at the site of the affected nerves. You can get a headache after spinal or epidural procedures. It can be associated with dizziness, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck and light sensitivity. Low blood pressure is possible as is the inability to urinate so that a catheter needs to be inserted. A backache is definitely possible. It is possible for you to get an infection from spinal or regional anaesthesia. Nerve damage and permanent paralysis can occur following the procedure and isn’t noticed until the medication has worn off.

General anaesthesia carries the greatest risks, complications and side effects. There is a risk of death with this type so anaesthesiologists need to take care before using this on patients. A history and brief physical examination are necessary before surgery.

In general anaesthesia, the body and mind are affected. Side effects, if the patient is well supported after surgery, usually clear up after about twenty four hours. There is also the possibility of 'unaesthetic awareness' which is also known as 'unaesthetia awareness' in which case the patient is conscious and aware whilst not being able to move or communicate whilst the surgical procedure is carried out which can be caused as a result of medical negligence by the doctor. The other complications include:

  • Having a sore throat from the ET tube used to manage the airway during the surgery.
  • Drowsiness or fatigue after the surgery.
  • Headache that can last for at least twenty four hours.
  • Dizziness.
  • Vision difficulties.

Serious complications are possible after general anaesthesia. Your risk increases with age, allergies and poor overall health. Gender plays a role in who has a bad reaction. If you have underlying health problems, use tobacco, use alcohol, or drugs, your risk goes up considerably. The major serious complications include:

  • An intra-operative stroke.
  • A heart attack while in surgery.
  • Brain damage from loss of oxygen.
  • Death.

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