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Even a routine surgery can have anesthesia risks

Many people in the Houston area will need to have surgery this year, including children. From the very minor insertion of ear tubes to a major open heart surgery, most surgeries require the use of anesthesia. Although rare, an anesthesia error may cause a patient to suffer a serious injury or even death, which may lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.

Anesthesia is used to put people to sleep before a medical procedure or surgery. Many medical professionals believe it is a safe procedure, but there are risks involved. One risk is that a person is actually awake during the procedure. Usually muscle relaxants are given before anesthesia so if a person is awake and experiencing pain, they may not be able to let the doctor know. This can lead to psychological problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

Other risks of anesthesia include pneumonia, heart attack, stroke and confusion following the procedure. An allergic reaction to the medication may occur or an overdose of the anesthesia medication may accidently be given. If a patient believes they have been adversely affected by an anesthesia mistake, they may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. An attorney may be able to investigate the circumstances surrounding the injury and help the family get the answers they deserve as to what happened.

If an anesthesia error has occurred, it is important to hold a medical professional accountable for their mistake. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, funeral expenses, future medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages. Families have the legal right to learn what happened to their loved one.

Source: mayoclinic.org, "General anesthesia risks", accessed on Jan. 1, 2017

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