Too Much Anesthesia: When Simple Procedures Turn Critical: Indiana

Anesthesia in operation room

When a patient undergoes major surgery, he or she is administered a powerful anesthetic and will be “under” until the surgery has been completed. Each patient will need a specific quantity and type of anesthetic.

Determining how much anesthetic is necessary must be determined on a case-by-case basis by a skilled anesthesiologist. The correct dosage can allow a painful procedure to be successfully completed.

When too much anesthetic has been administered, the patient may suffer serious anesthesia complications.

Once surgery begins, the anesthesiologist will determine if the correct dosage is being administered by monitoring the patient’s heart rate, blood pressure and other vital signs. Adjustments can be made throughout the duration of the surgical procedure. Nobody wants the patient waking up while on the operating table. Nobody wants an error in administering anesthetic to lead to a simple procedure turning critical.

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Common Side Effects of an Anesthesia Overdose

Patients and their families need to be aware of the common side effects of an anesthesia overdose prior to surgery so they can identify the symptoms.

Here are some of the more common side effects that could indicate an anesthesia overdose:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Respiratory distress
  • Hypothermia
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Mental or physical impairment
  • Dementia
  • Prolonged unconsciousness
  • Brain injuries
  • Death

Even those individuals who received a local anesthetic for minor surgery could suffer from side effects of an anesthesia overdose or dangerous or deadly reaction to the anesthesia.

Not all side effects of an anesthesia overdose are temporary. Some people suffer long term complications. Studies mentioned in Scientific American indicate that higher dosages of anesthesia lead to an increased risk of delirium following surgery.

Types of Anesthesia and Steps You Can Take to Avoid Anesthesia Mistakes

A local anesthesia is generally used for minor surgery to a targeted area. Regional anesthesia, such as an epidural, can significantly reduce pain during childbirth or other orthopedic procedures.

Another type of anesthesia are those medications that sedate you to minimize pain, yet allow you to remain awake and in communication with your doctor throughout the surgical procedure.

General anesthesia is the option most often employed in any major surgery. This type of anesthesia induces unconsciousness so the patient does not experience any aspect of the surgery.

If you are scheduled for surgery, talk with both your surgeon and the anesthesiologist so you can voice your concerns and get all of your questions answered.

Call or Email us today to speak with a lawyer in Indiana for more information.

Steps to Take to Recover After Having Anesthesia

Also, as reported in Scientific American, keeping patients well-hydrated and well-nourished prior to surgery can contribute to improved blood flow to and from the brain.

Having family and friends come to visit, getting up and around as soon as possible after surgery, staying well-rested and weaning off medications as soon as possible can help counteract adverse anesthesia effects.

If you or a loved one has an adverse reaction to too much anesthesia, contact an experienced Indiana medical malpractice attorney to find out if you have a case.

Injured patients and their families need solid legal guidance after a serious medical error. At the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson, we listen attentively to our clients’ questions and concerns. Our goal is to help them move forward after devastating, even fatal medical errors.