Surgical Errors Lawyer
Every year, more than 4,000 people are injured as a result of surgical errors in the United States. Though these injuries are devastating under any circumstance, they can have a particularly debilitating impact on small children. Pregnant women require extra care and attention during surgery because their unborn children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of medications and stress. Medical errors can lead to birth asphyxia and brain bleeds, which can cause debilitating seizures, brain damages, and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. These and other injuries can lead to lifelong impairments and conditions like cerebral palsy and developmental disabilities.
Although it is imperative to provide any patient with adequate care, expecting mothers require particular attention and care. Medical errors can cause debilitating injuries to both mothers and their children, which can be life-threatening. When patients are harmed as a result of surgical error, it is imperative that they reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to protect their legal rights.
The team at The Medical Negligence Group has extensive experience helping families protect their legal rights after being harmed by errors during surgery. Our team investigates the circumstances surrounding each clients’ operation to uncover acts of negligence to ensure they get the justice they deserve after being harmed. Contact our law firm at your earliest convenience to explore legal options available for you.
Anesthesia and Medical Malpractice
During surgery, at least one anesthesiologist is present alongside surgeons and medical assistants. This professional is responsible for administering anesthesia to patients and managing the patients’ airways and breathing. The anesthesiologist is further required to monitor the blood and circulatory status of the patient. Monitoring a patient to ensure their safety is a continuous process. Although patients should have their vital signs checked and other monitoring perimeters should be recorded to their records every 5-minutes, from pre-medication through to their full recovery, the constant monitoring of them is essential for ensuring no complications arise.
Subtle changes and trends in the patient can indicate that the patient is experiencing stress or other potentially serious complications. Anesthesiologists should never wait to address any issues that arise. As the sedation levels increase, patients lose the ability to breathe normally and may experience changes in blood pressures and heart functions. Adequate monitoring allows medical professionals to recognize and provide early warnings of any adverse changes and trends so they can address the problems immediately before the health of the patient declines. If medical professionals fail to recognize and respond to issues during surgery, they can be held liable for resulting injuries and damages.
Negligence in the Operating Room
Negligence in the operating room can take many forms. The consequences of these actions are often significant. Some of the leading causes of medical malpractice claims involving anesthesia in operating rooms include:
- The negligent administration of anesthesia, leading to death.
- The negligent administration of anesthesia leading to permanent brain damage.
- Misuse of anesthesia leading to nerve injury.
- Anesthesia malpractice leading to nerve injury that causes permanent and disabling conditions.
- Injuries to the airway in the operating room.
Regardless of the type of injury a person suffers from as a result of negligence, they can expect overwhelming medical expenses to treat their injuries and conditions. When pregnant women are subjected to negligence in the operating room, it can result in further detrimental effects to both the mother and the child. In fact, intrauterine hypoxia, or birth asphyxia, is the 10th leading cause of neonatal death in the United States. The majority of these cases involve the improper monitoring of mothers and babies during the labor and delivery process.
Children who are subjected to oxygen deprivation during surgery or during labor can experience permanent brain injuries, such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Numerous cases of HIE are caused by the misuse of anesthesia. Any injury that impacts the mother will also affect the unborn child. Although some babies face minimal complications, many experience the severe impact of these errors. When surgery is performed on a pregnant woman, whether it is a C-section or another procedure, the medical care team, including the anesthesiologist, needs to be proactive in caring for both the mother and the child.
If you were injured as a result of a negligent medical professional, or your child suffered a birth injury, contact our surgical error lawyers as soon as possible to explore legal options available for you.
Types of Injuries Related to Medical Errors and HIE
Surgical errors can impact babies in utero and newborns in a variety of ways. Many injuries can be life-threatening and require both immediate and long-term medical care. Some of the most common injuries related to medical errors and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy include:
Airway Injuries: When medical professionals are negligent while placing breathing tubes, it can result in injuries to the airway. Additionally, the improper placement of breathing tubes can result in insufficient oxygenation and ventilation. Some patients may also experience airway blockages and aspiration–losing the ability to breathe without the machines after surgery.
Injuries from medical equipment: There are some instances where mothers and unborn children suffer life-threatening injuries as a result of medical equipment. When tubes and other devices are improperly inserted, it can cause damages to the heart and other parts of the body.
Heart/Circulatory Complications: When mothers lose too much blood, it can lead to life-threatening complications. In some cases, the lack of an adequate blood supply can lead to oxygen deprivation in unborn children, which can lead to strokes and other complications.
Regional Anesthesia Injuries: There are instances where the administration of anesthesia causes damages to the brain and spinal cord of the mother and unborn child. These injuries can lead to cardiac arrest or death.
Medication Errors: There are many instances where mothers and unborn children experience adverse reactions to medications. When mothers are given inadequate dosages or the wrong type of drugs, they can suffer injuries that may be life-threatening.
If you or your child were injured as a result of a negligent medical professional, it is crucial that you reach out to a surgical error attorney as soon as possible.
Avoiding Medical Errors and HIE with Fetal Monitoring
The deprivation of oxygen to an unborn child can lead to fetal distress. These complications are often evident on fetal heart monitors so long as the equipment is attached to the child and functioning correctly. It is imperative that babies are continually monitored to ensure they do not experience any stress. Signs of fetal distress require immediate attention. When adequate monitoring does not occur, it can have life-threatening consequences for children.
When mothers are going through C-sections, the medical team is charged with various tasks. Doctors, nurses, and others in attendance are required to monitor both the mother and the child and make sure anesthesia is administered correctly. In some cases, many issues need to be monitored simultaneously, like addressing blood pressure fluctuations. In some instances, emergency C-sections are necessary. Regardless of what problems arise, it is imperative that continual and adequate fetal monitoring occurs. Situations where children are deprived of the oxygen they need can lead to debilitating brain injuries that result in permanent impairments. These children often require extensive medical treatment and are often left to deal with long-term complications in addition to pain and suffering. If your child suffered a birth injury as a result of improper monitoring during surgery, it is imperative that you reach out to a surgical error attorney as soon as possible.
The Importance of Monitoring
Adequate monitoring is imperative during surgery. Not only does it ensure the safety of the mother and unborn child, but monitoring allows doctors and medical professionals to address complications immediately to prevent long-term damages. When it comes to monitoring a patient during surgery, there are various parameters that should be covered. These include:
Oxygenation: When patients are administered anesthesia, the concentration of oxygen in the patient’s breathing system needs to be measured. It is imperative that patients maintain adequate oxygen levels and that they are getting rid of carbon dioxide appropriately. If pregnant women are deprived of oxygen, it can result in oxygen deprivation to the unborn child, which can be life-threatening.
Ventilation: It is imperative that patients have adequate ventilation throughout the duration of their surgery. Patients on ventilation require continuous monitoring to ensure the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels are regular. Clinical signs during the observation of data on the vent, listening to the patient’s heart with a stethoscope, and viewing chest expansion can indicate any problems or complications. However, adequate monitoring can demonstrate if any complications occur as a result of inadequate breathing tube placements.
Circulation: Every patient must have an electrocardiogram hooked up to them for monitoring. This system enables anesthesiologists to continually review the blood pressure and heart rate of patients. Additionally, medical professionals need to monitor the palpitation of the patient’s pulse and the sound of their heart.
Body Temperature: Maintaining a normal body temperature during surgery is critical. To do so, medical professionals need to consistently monitor the temperature of the patient and utilize heaters, air conditioners, and blankets to regulate temperature.
Recording of Data: Recording information on patients’ vitals is critical. This data provides a detailed account of events during a patient’s surgery, as well as their treatment and management. When patients’ responses can be analyzed, medical professionals are better able to determine appropriate response methods should any complications arise.
Physiologic monitoring is imperative, as well. It is crucial to have a continuous ECG reading to ensure the heart rate and rhythm remain steady throughout the surgery. Additionally, medical professionals should monitor the patients through the use of continuous pulse oximetry and a blood pressure monitoring device.
Anesthesia machines should maintain continuous agent concentration measurements to ensure patients are inhaling an acceptable level of anesthetic agents. These monitors also keep track of the oxygen levels and nitrous oxide levels and provide MAC level readings for medical professionals. Low oxygen alerts are a critical monitoring component as well as they allow for rapid responses should any complications arise.
The majority of surgical errors involving pregnant women surround cases where patients are not treated in a quick and sufficient manner after complications occur. For this reason, it is imperative that medical professionals adequately monitor patients throughout the entire duration of their surgery. The lack of monitoring can lead to life-threatening complications for mothers and unborn babies. In many cases, victims require ongoing medical treatment to address the injuries they face in the aftermath of medical malpractice. If you or your child were injured as a result of a negligent medical professional’s actions during surgery, it is imperative that you reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation to help alleviate the financial burdens you face for medical care and other expenses.
The Medical Negligence Group Can Help You
Being injured by a negligent medical professional can have a significant impact on a person’s life. This is particularly true for newborns, who are nearly defenseless. Suffering an injury can result in the need for extensive medical treatment. In some cases, children are left with permanent impairments that continue to impact their health and wellbeing indefinitely. If your child suffered injuries as a result of a negligent medical professional, it is imperative that you reach out to a surgical error lawyer as soon as possible.
The Medical Negligence Group has decades of experience fighting to protect the legal rights of families throughout the United States after being harmed by reckless and negligent medical professionals. Our team provides aggressive legal representation to ensure families are able to maximize their claims to compensation, so they are able to get the medical treatment their children need in order to properly recover. Contact our medical malpractice attorneys today at NUMBER to explore legal options available for you. Schedule a free case evaluation at your earliest convenience to see how our team can help you receive justice.
Gershon, Willoughby & Getz, LLC25 Hooks Lane Suite 304, Baltimore, Maryland 21208