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Anesthesia is combination of drugs administered by a doctor or nurse that makes medical procedures and surgery easier and more comfortable for patients as well as the medical professionals conducting the procedures.

There are three types of anesthesia. Local anesthesia numbs only a small part of your body for a short period of time. An example is an injection of novocaine at the dentist. Regional anesthesia numbs a larger area for a few hours. An example is an epidural during childbirth to numb everything below the waist for the mother.

The third is general anesthesia. General anesthesia affects the entire body. An anesthesiologist administers drugs to make the patient unconscious and keep them from moving during an operation.

Brain damage or death from anesthesia is rare; however, over 60,000 Americans have surgery under general anesthesia every day, and medical malpractice sadly does happen. When something does go wrong, the effects can be devastating for the victim and their family.

Brain damage cam occur when the brain is deprived of oxygen. Complications during the administration and monitoring of anesthesia include:

• The breathing tube is not inserted correctly or quickly enough.
• A stroke occurs, and it is not recognized and treated immediately.
• The patient’s medical history isn’t fully taken into account regarding medications and dosages.

The other big error that occurs is a failure to properly monitor the patient. Doctors get distracted or too confident and fail to do their job.

Even if complications are not fully within the anesthesiologist’s control, it is their responsibility to carefully plan the procedure, monitor vital signs, and react quickly and properly if things go wrong.

We have seen cases where the anesthesiologist administered the wrong drug or the incorrect dosage. We have seen instances where an anesthesiologist was distracted or out of the operating room when the patient’s vital signs were dropping.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, brain damage may have occurred:
• Slurred speech
• Loss of coordination
• Abnormal behavior, particularly aggression
• Seizures
• Extreme confusion (beyond the first couple weeks post-surgery)

And in the worst cases, a person can die, be brain dead or completely incoherent.

When a loved one comes out of surgery with brain damage, it is important to have the case investigated to determine who is at fault and why. We have helped hundreds of people in similar situations over the last 23 plus years and would love to help you find out if you have a medical malpractice case for an anesthesia error. Contact us any time at 312-346-5320. We cover all of Illinois.