Understanding the Risks of Anesthesia

Understanding the Risks of Anesthesia

Surgical procedures have become a very common practice in today’s day and age. Chances are you or someone you know has been anesthetized at some point in their life for one reason or another. Whether it is for a simple tonsillectomy, or a more complex operation such as a heart transplant, none of these life-saving procedures would be possible without the proper administration of general anesthesia.

Unfortunately, anesthetics can cause severe complications for some individuals. Sometimes, these complications can be long-term, permanent, or even fatal. Luckily, Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyers are here to protect you and are prepared to fight for your legal rights should anything go wrong. If you believe you have been a victim of anesthesia negligence, keep an eye out for these adverse side affects and contact a lawyer right away.


If you have ever had a surgery scheduled in advance, then the doctor most likely advised you to stop eating and drinking the night before the procedure. The reason for this is to prevent the risk of aspirationduring your procedure. If vomiting occurs while a patient is sedated, it can enter the lungs and cause post-op irritation, infection, and even pneumonia.

Nerve Damage

For procedures that last several hours, a patient should be moved or re-positioned periodically to avoid the risk of nerve damage. After your procedure, if you experience long-term tingling or numbness unrelated to your surgery, then there is a chance that you may be suffering from peripheral nerve damage.


Allergic reactions to anesthesia can be mild to very severe, depending on the patient. General signs of anesthetic anaphylaxis include rashes or hives appearing on the body, low blood pressure, vomiting, and restricted airways which can cause discomfort or difficulty breathing. Any of these signs can occur during, and after a surgical procedure.

Dental Damage

During the sedation process, an intubation tube is placed into the trachea to allow the continuous flow of anesthetic gasses, which keeps the patient anesthetized. After the surgery has been completed, the tube is then removed. Sometimes while removing the tube, damage can be caused to a patient’s teeth. Dental damage is among the most common claims filed in anesthetic malpractice cases today.


Although not very common, embolism is a very serious adverse side effect of general anesthesia, and it can even be potentially fatal. With surgical procedures, comes the risk of blood clots. Whether it be pulmonary or arterial, embolism is nothing to be taken lightly. If at any point after your surgery you experience chest pains or unusual discomfort anywhere in the body, you must alert your physician immediately.

The truth is there are always going to be risks involved whenever going under general anesthesia for a surgical procedure. However, your anesthesiologist should be well trained, and well aware of any complications that may arise during your surgical procedure. It is their job to protect you during the surgery. If you believe that you have been a victim of anesthetic negligence or malpractice, contact the medical malpractice lawyers at Goldberg, Persky & White. Our medical malpractice team has the experience and track record to guide you through your case, making sure you and your loved ones get the compensation your deserve. Don’t suffer because of a medical team’s negligence during care. Make sure your health and your rights are protected by contacting the attorneys at Goldberg, Persky & White, P.C.


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