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When lifesaving procedures turn deadly

When you undergo surgery, you entrust your life to a team of skilled doctors. While the surgeons frequently get the glory when surgery is successful and the blame when something goes wrong, the anesthesiologist is no less a key player. When the anesthesiologist makes a mistake, the consequences can be crippling and permanent.

It is pretty widely known that anesthesiologists are responsible for sedating a person before surgery and for keeping that person sedated during the procedure. Their responsibilities, however, extend far beyond that. They are required to take a medical history to determine if there are any allergies or other health problems that could complicate the administration of anesthesia. They are required to keep the patient's head and neck in a proper position, monitor IV fluids, watch vital signs and react to emergencies that may arise during surgery such as a sudden drop in blood pressure or unexpected breathing problems.

Unfortunately, a vast array of responsibilities comes complete with a vast array of potential problems. An anesthesiologist may forget to take a complete medical history and inadvertently use a medication to which a patient is allergic. He may improperly intubate a patient, thereby depriving the patient's brain of oxygen. She may use the wrong amount of anesthetic, improperly monitor vital signs or fail to appropriately respond or alert her team when a problem occurs. When an anesthesiologist makes this kind of mistake, the consequences can be severe brain damage or even death.

This type of mistake is known as medical malpractice.

If you have lost someone you love, or if someone you love has suffered from severe and debilitating brain damage owing to mistakes made during a medical procedure, you deserve to know your rights. A personal injury lawyer can help determine if you and your loved one are entitled to compensation that could help cover expensive medical bills and help provide the best care possible.

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