Anaesthetics are used in many medical procedures to reduce or prevent the level of pain during surgery. Generally, they are administered safely however, occasionally an error can occur that can cause a patient unnecessary harm. If you or a loved one believes that an anaesthetist has been negligent and has caused an injury as a result then you may have an anaesthetic negligence compensation claim.
Types of anaesthetic
Anaesthetics fall within two main categories:
- General Anaesthetics – general anaesthesia is defined as a state of controlled consciousness and it is usually used for long operations or those that would otherwise be very painful.
- Local Anaesthetics – local anaesthesia is safer as it does not cause the patient to lose consciousness. Local anaesthetics work by stopping the nerves in part of the body from sending signals to the brain.
Injuries caused by anaesthetics inappropriately administered
The consequences of an error by an anaesthetist in administering the anaesthetics can be extremely serious. Injuries can include.
- Anaesthetic Awareness – whilst rare, this can occur when a patient becomes conscious during an operation and is aware of what is happening to them but helpless to do anything about it. It can be an extremely distressing and painful experience often resulting in post traumatic stress. Anaesthetic awareness compensation claims can arise due to faulty techniques of the anaesthetist, faulty equipment or a failure to check the equipment appropriately.
- Brain Damage – the brain needs a continuous supply of oxygen to survive. A complication with the general anaesthetic during surgery can result in an inadequate supply of oxygen to the brain and/or a cardiac arrest that can result in an anoxic brain injury.
- Nerve Injuries – if epidurals, injections or nerve blocks are not administered correctly nerve injuries can be caused resulting in pain and occasionally a permanent disability or paralysis.
If you would like to discuss making an anaesthetic negligence compensation claim please call a member of our Clinical and Medical Negligence team on Freephone: 0808 164 0808 for a free, no-obligation chat. Alternatively, you can complete the request a call back form and we will call you.
If the matter is particularly sensitive and immediate assistance is required then we can arrange for one of our clinical negligence lawyers to meet you at the hospital.