Nothing in the medical world comes without some element of risk. The entire practice of medicine is guided by a principle of minimizing harm because of this. The human body is a massively interconnected set of systems that rarely allows for full understanding of the consequences of interaction.
One of the more necessary risks in emergency and critical care is the use of anesthesia. Anesthesiologists have some of the best track records with low cases of malpractice and a low morbidity rate.
Still, anesthesia has its own complications and they can have severe impacts. Even though there are a few experimental surgeries and more invasive procedures that can be done with limited anesthesia, it remains anything but optional.
Consent vs Compulsory
When it comes to patient consent, much has been written about the levels to which a patient even understands the full gravity of their decisions. The doctor holds knowledge that makes consent lopsided while remaining necessary.
For anesthesia, this gets doubled down on. Many surgeons will not agree to perform even minor and routine surgeries with a patient that refuses anesthesia.
Part of this is because such procedures are often considered experimental, and bad for the surgeon’s stats. The other reason is the very real fear of a mobile patient.
Wincing and pain reactions can easily distract a doctor even if the target area doesn’t experience motion. This leaves little room for a patient to decline the standard recommendation of anesthesia.
For malpractice purposes, this puts also splits the burden of duty between the controlling physician and the anesthesiologist.
As Needed and Dosage Windows
The importance of anesthesia is such that, as a specialty, it commands a lot of respect and money. Prominent anesthesiologists have been known to be flown in from states away for procedures.
Professional organizations such as the American Society of Anesthesiologists foster trust in the discipline through continuing research and literature updating known risks.
Many factors influence the impact of successful anesthesia. It also carries a more global and chronic series of effects. Those who have undergone general anesthesia have reported issues years down the road that can be linked back.
These issues include peripheral nerve damage, decreased lung capacity, and incontinence.
To be effective, most anesthesia relies on manipulation of the nervous system, which obviously connects to everything in the body. This makes spotting an emerging condition difficult and even more difficult to trace to an initial injury.
Anesthesia is also well known for being patient specific. There is no concoction that works perfectly in one dose. Anesthesiologists must gather information about a patient include thing diet, weight, blood type, known complications, allergies, and so on.
They also need to carefully monitor vitals during a procedure and be able to adjust dosages on the fly.
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Undergoing major surgery is stressful for a patient and their loved ones. It’s good to know that there are legal redresses if any part of the procedure leads to injury.
If you suspect malpractice after a surgery, contact us to learn how to proceed and options available to you. We’re here to help.