Hypoxia Due to Anesthesia
One of the basic requirements for us to live is having oxygen to breathe. When deprived of oxygen for just a few minutes, brain cells begin to die. Complete deprivation of oxygen to the brain is called hypoxia, and it can cause serious brain damage or death. This is one of the leading causes of death from anesthesia errors, even more tragic since it is usually preventable. If you or a loved one suffered hypoxia under anesthesia, you may be a victim of medical malpractice.
When under general anesthesia, the body is in a deep state of sedation. It is so deep that you may require oxygenation, or a respirator, to ensure you continue to get the oxygen you need. It is the responsibility of the anesthesiologist and medical team to monitor your breathing and oxygen levels. If oxygen is not getting to your brain while under anesthesia, it could cause permanent damage or death within minutes. Not monitoring a patient closely or the failure of an oxygenating device are anesthesia errors that can cause these serious injuries.
Brain Damage Due to Hypoxia
The frustration with anesthesia-caused hypoxia is that it is almost always preventable. A lapse in concentration by an anesthesiologist can result in oxygen deprivation for a few minutes, resulting in damage to the brain. Even if the patient survives, they may face long-term health consequences and a lower quality of life. Some side effects of brain injury caused by hypoxia include:
- Memory loss
- Balance and coordination problems
- Speech and vision impairments
- Mental impairments
If you believe an anesthesia error occurred and caused the death or brain injury of a loved one, contact Race Law Firm today. We have an experienced medical malpractice team that will listen to your concerns and give you our advice on how to proceed. If an anesthesia error caused hypoxia-related death or brain damage, you could be eligible to seek substantial compensation to cover damages.