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Adverse Anesthesia Reactions during Plastic Surgery


Certain medical procedures come with inherent risks, such as plastic surgery. Complications may be related to anesthesia reactions, which could be the case if the patient has an allergy to the anesthesia or if improper levels are administered.

Use of Anesthesiologists in Plastic Surgery

Although plastic surgeons are ultimately responsible for the care of their patients, they also utilize other healthcare professionals. Anesthesiologists, for example, have very important responsibilities in putting a patient under and then properly monitoring him/her. In rural areas, however, nurses often administer anesthesia.

This is a practice that is often debated and has even moved to the courts, the New York Times reported in 2012. Anesthesiologists are considered doctors while nurse anesthesiologists remain just that – nurses – which is a point of contention between the two, not to mention patients who may have suffered at their hands.

Any type of negligence could cause injuries and in turn lead a patient to file an injury claim. One situation in which this can happen is when the patient suffers adverse reactions to the anesthesia.

Types of Adverse Anesthesia Reactions

Adverse reactions may cause:

  • stroke;
  • dizziness;
  • confusion;
  • heart palpitations;
  • excessive sweating;
  • lung infections;
  • heart attack; and
  • death.

Another type of problem during plastic surgery is anesthesia awareness. In this case, although the patient generally doesn’t feel anything physically, he/she is mentally aware of what’s happening during the surgery. But there are occurrences where patients may also feel pain.

The trauma of not being able to let someone know they are awake can be devastating. With no ability to move, talk or otherwise communicate, there can be long-term psychological consequences. Symptoms can be similar to anxiety disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Malpractice Caused by an Adverse Anesthesia Reaction

One of the potential causes of an anesthesia reaction is failure to properly monitor the patient. Especially when it comes to the amount of anesthesia administered. But there can be other circumstances in which malpractice contributes to or causes an adverse reaction.

One of the most important things an anesthesiologist should do is get a complete medical history on the patient. If the patient has ever experienced an adverse reaction in the past, this could indicate that the anesthesiologist should use special care. Not taking this information into account could be considered negligence if it causes injuries.

Another issue is when a patient has drug allergies. If these are known and ignored, it may be a cause of an adverse reaction. The same is true when it comes to knowing a patient is taking certain over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs. The anesthesiologist should evaluate whether they could cause an adverse reaction.

Finally, certain medical conditions could raise the risk of a patient experiencing an adverse reaction. Diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, sleep apnea and high blood pressure are some examples.

Don’t hesitate to contact an attorney if serious plastic surgery complications were the result of an adverse reaction during surgery that could have been prevented. An anesthesiologist or other healthcare professional may be held liable. The Becker Law Firm handles these types of cases and can protect patients’ rights if injured due to medical negligence during plastic surgery or other procedures.

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