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Anesthesia Error Deaths Decline in the United States

Future surgical patients and their loved ones may be able to rest a little easier. A study recently published in the Journal of Healthcare Risk Management reveals a decline in anesthesia-related deaths across the country. This is especially welcome news compared to a 2011 study, published by the Clinic for Anesthesiology, Intensive Medicine and Pain Therapy at Bochum’s University Hospital, which showed an uptick of anesthesia-related deaths. Doctors and nurses appear to have heeded earlier calls to not ignore or disable auditory alarms that can be vital in alerting hospital personnel to respond to a patient’s deteriorating vital signs during surgery. These alarms function as signals for life-threatening situations for patients undergoing surgery.
While this is certainly good news, there are still considerable risks associated with the process. Generally speaking, otherwise healthy patients have little to worry about when going under the knife; however, there are certain lifestyle factors that can increase your risk of complications during surgery, including:

  • Smoking
  • Sleep apnea
  • Weight problems
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Heart, lung or kidney problems
  • Medications, such as aspirin, that can increase bleeding
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Drug allergies
  • History of adverse reactions to anesthesia

According to the Mayo Clinic, 15 percent of all anesthesia-related issues emerge as a result of improper preoperative assessment. When a physician fails to determine the full scope of a patient’s pre-existing conditions and lifestyle factors, the patient commonly suffers as a result. Whether it’s the failure of a nurse to properly communicate with the physician or a doctor’s forgetfulness, it could end up costing you dearly. Adverse reactions to anesthesia can yield a variety of serious complications, including heart attack, stroke, lung infection, coma and death.
No patient should have to worry about whether they will wake up from their surgery. If you or a loved one has experienced medical complications due to poorly administered anesthesia, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney immediately to determine your options and get the compensation you deserve. Accidents happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay for them.
Lombardi and Lombardi is a New Jersey personal injury law firm with years of experience helping medical malpractice victims get the damages to which they are entitled. Call us today for a free consultation.

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