Should You Be Afraid of Anesthesia in a New York Hospital?

Many people naturally fear anesthesia. After all, you are trusting a doctor to put you into a coma-like state in order to perform an operation or medical procedure. It can be difficult to trust that you will wake up again.

However, for the majority of people, anesthesia is overwhelmingly safe when properly administered. In 2009, researchers found that only about 1 in 100,000 patients die because of anesthesia.* However, if anesthesia is not properly administered, the results may be catastrophic.

How You Can Help Yourself Stay Safe

In order to help prevent serious anesthesia mistakes that could cause you injury, or worse, cause your death, it is important to be prepared before surgery. Specifically, you might want to speak with your anesthesiologist about:
  • What type of anesthesia you will be given. Be sure to mention any known drug allergies to your doctor and to mention whether you have ever been under general anesthesia before.
  • How you will be monitored while you are under, and recovering from, anesthesia. Ask about whether the anesthesiologist will be monitoring you during the operation or whether someone else will have that responsibility.
  • Your anesthesiologist's experience. You trust your anesthesiologist to quickly recognize problems and to perform delicate procedures such as intubation. It is important that you have confidence that your doctor is prepared to handle those challenges.
  • How long you will be expected to be under the effects of anesthesia.
  • Any preparations you should take prior to being administered anesthesia, such as restrictions on eating and drinking.

Ultimately, it is the Doctor's Responsibility to Keep You Safe

While it is important to be an actively involved patient and do your best to protect yourself from anesthesia medical malpractice injuries, it is ultimately your anesthesiologist who has the expert knowledge and legal duty to prevent mistakes from causing you injury.

If you have been hurt, or if you have lost a loved one due to an anesthesia mistake in New York, it is important to call a New York medical malpractice attorney today. The experienced New York medical malpractice lawyers of The Pagan Law Firm would be pleased to provide you with a free consultation. Please call us today at 1-800-PAGAN-911.

*Source: Study Confirms Anesthesia Safety, Anesthesiology News, by Michael Vlessides, January 2009.

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