The vast majority of operations in the UK are performed seamlessly; however on occasion mistakes are made to the detriment of the patient. During surgery anaesthetic is crucial; with the administration of anaesthetic and monitoring of consciousness a delicate balance. Unfortunately, this balance is not always maintained, with around 2 people in a 1000 operations suffering from anaesthetic awareness or associated complications.
How Does This Happen?
Being conscious during an operation can be an incredibly distressing and damaging experience; sometimes leading to post traumatic stress disorder. Anaesthesia awareness occurs when you are not receiving enough anaesthetic during the course of surgery to maintain unconsciousness; meaning that you become conscious during the operation, either because the anaesthetist miscalculates the level required to keep you unconscious, or because the machinery administering the anaesthetic is malfunctioning.
Anaesthetic errors can extend further than awareness, and as such, they would not be classed as general anaesthesia side effects, which would be expected. Common incidents can include:
- Poorly administered dosage of general anaesthesia which leads to temporary or permanent paralysis, caused by nerve or spinal damage. This is particularly prevalent during childbirth anaesthesia, with complications can result from an epidural.
- Negligence in administering anaesthesia leading to an induced coma, or even death
- Brain damage caused by failure to properly monitor breathing during surgery under anaesthetic, leading to a lack of oxygen to the brain.
- Failing to administer the correct dosage, allowing the patient to feel unnecessary pain
Fewer risks are associated with local anaesthesia, and side effects include headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and twitching muscles. In rare cases, where such issues are not carefully monitored, serious complications such as a seizure or a cardiac arrest could develop.
Errors related to Anaesthetic are well publicised, with preventative measures including:
- Obtaining a thorough patient history, taking note of any allergies.
- Ensuring all apparatus and machinery is thoroughly checked for faults, with all individuals thoroughly trained for their use
- Patients should be supplied with adequate pre-medication; bearing in mind resilient patients may need supplementary levels
Where a patient believes they have been a victim of medical negligence, after experiencing anaesthesia awareness or complications, they may wish to build a case for anaesthetic error compensation.
Our Surgery Claims Experience
Over many years of service, our medical negligence solicitors have overseen countless medical malpractice cases, so it is likely that that they will have dealt with a medical claim like yours in the past. If you believe that you may be entitled to make a clinical negligence claim for anaesthetic error compensation, we will be able to advise you on whether or not you have a case from the very beginning.
Our solicitors have a wealth of experience in dealing with anaesthesia awareness claims. Working at the cutting edge of clinical negligence case law, they can use their insight to gain the greatest possible outcome for you; ensuring that standards and procedures are improved.
As with many medical negligence claims, making a case for anaesthetic errors compensation requires expert legal assistance, as cases of this kind are fiercely defended by legal and medical experts. The earlier a solicitor becomes involved in your case for medical negligence compensation, the greater the chances of making a successful claim. There are also time limits in place for making a claim of this kind, so you should seek legal help as soon as possible.
You may be worried about the possible costs of pursuing your anaesthesia awareness claim; so we have advisory teams in place to help you secure all the assistance available to you. Whatever the situation, we are likely to find a way to help.
We pride ourselves on our provision of first-class legal advice and support. Our team of specialist anaesthetic error compensation solicitors have a wealth of expertise and knowledge that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.