Common Anesthesia Errors

When an individual undergoes surgery, he or she will first be placed under anesthesia. Anesthesia is a drug that makes individual unconscious so that they will not feel pain when surgeons cut them open and operate on them.

Unfortunately, anesthesia can be highly dangerous when handled by an inexperienced individual. The individual who is in charge of handling the anesthetic is called the anesthesiologist. These individuals are trained doctors who specialize in sedation.

When they fail to properly do their jobs, they may seriously injure or even kill their patients. Errors may occur in a number of ways, each of which presents its own potential dangers to the affected individuals.

Common errors include failure to intubate, failure to monitor, and overdosing the patient. Failure to properly intubate a patient may result in patients losing teeth, suffering punctured lungs, or suffering windpipe trauma.

Individuals who are not monitored during their surgeries may suffer significant changes in their vitals. This may lead to permanent brain damage, cardiac arrest, or a number of other injuries. Some of these injuries may result in death depending on their severity.

Overdosing can also be dangerous, as it can poison an individual and also lead to brain damage and further injuries.

Individuals who suffer through an anesthesia error may be entitled to financial compensation if they choose to file medical malpractice lawsuits against the responsible medical institutions. Before doing this, individuals are advised to consult with experienced medical malpractice lawyers.

While hiring a medical malpractice lawyer does not guarantee that an individual will win his or her case, it usually does help individual gain a more favorable settlement.

Michael Jackson – A Tragic Hero

It’s a modern-day tragedy. A young man is born with incredible talent and promise, and then achieves unimaginable success early in his life. A glorious future is predicted, but instead his life is a series of ever more strange behaviors and events, culminating in his untimely death. Michael Jackson is called “The Prince of Pop,” but he ought to be known as the tragic hero of our times.

Who was he, really? Michael Jackson has been, paradoxically, both the most public and the most private figure of the last half-century; a man whom everyone in the world knows about but few, if any, truly know. He guarded his privacy ferociously; sometimes going to extreme and even bizarre lengths to hide his and his children’s’ appearance. He was there and not there, and now, he is truly gone.

His tragic story began over 50 years ago. According to many accounts, he was severely beaten and verbally abused as a young child, being taunted by his father about the size of his nose and the color of his skin. At a very young age he and his brothers became world-famous, but he stood out as the star. Fame is never a wholly positive thing for a young person: it thrusts a false, public persona onto an unformed personality, and confuses the young person about their true identity.

The combination of early childhood trauma and very early fame is akin to nitro plus glycerin: highly explosive. MJ never had a chance to discover who he was the way an ordinary young person would. He was the Teenage Heartthrob; the Musical Sensation, the Shining Star. These personae laid on top of significant abuse are like a magnificent mansion perched on a fragile foundation. Inevitably, it all must come crashing down.

There were early signs that things weren’t right. He didn’t date like a normal boy but had hard-to-define relationships with other famous people. Some were much younger and some, much older. With most people we could say, “This partner suits them,” or “This partner is all wrong for them,” but with MJ, no partner seemed to suit him. In fact, his sexuality was as confusing as his choice of companions.

Then there was the plastic surgery. Pictures taken after his first nose job showed a good-looking young man but the second one left him looking a bit too pretty. Up until this time, he appeared as a normal, if thin, young man, but after the second surgery he became more and more androgynous-looking.

Multiple surgeries later, it was obvious that there was a serious problem. His face seemed mutilated. According to some reports, the tip of his nose had been destroyed by too many operations and he had to wear a prosthesis. It was almost a relief when he came out in the mask he often wore.

His eyes fared no better. They seemed to bulge from under his overly-prominent brow; rimmed in heavy black liner and bearing unnaturally long lashes. His bright red, feminine lips were stretched and pulled like those of a middle-aged woman who’d had one-too-many bad face-lift. This handsome young man had turned into someone frighteningly deformed.

Most confusing was the color of his skin. Growing up, he had the typical features of an attractive, African-American male. As the years passed however, he grew pale and lost all evidence of his African ancestry. There was a cruel joke going around implying that he’d started out as a Black man and had turned into a White woman. No-one unfamiliar with him could have ever visually connected the young Michael Jackson with the man he later became.

Well past the point at which he became grotesque, his face still continued to change. Perhaps he was having work done in vain attempts to repair damage caused by previous surgeries, or perhaps he had a condition known as “Body Dysmorphic Disorder,” whereby someone falsely believes that one or more of their body parts is unacceptable and needs to be changed. From one public appearance to the next he looked different, altered. No-one knew what to expect. His face was a work in progress, never to be completed, and perhaps this was the most fitting metaphor for his identity.

Despite his ever-changing face, he was instantly recognizable. The lanky frame, the military-inspired jackets and skinny pants. The aviator glasses and long hair. At one point, the single glove. And yet, his personal identity seemed so unstable. He engaged in a number of compulsive behaviors. Aside from the continual altering of his appearance, there was his excessive spending, a disturbed pattern of eating, multiple substance abuse and a pattern of surrounding himself with young boys.

He was accused of many bad deeds and acquitted of some of the charges he was brought up on. One legal suit was settled out of court for possibly millions of dollars. There’s no way to know whether he was guilty of anything more than ill-advised choices. Whatever behaviors he actually engaged in, any and all of his compulsions could be seen as the result of early and on-going childhood trauma.

Some people said he had issues with race and he vehemently denied these, claiming that he was proud of his heritage. It was confusing, then, when he adopted three white children. He claimed that his older two children were his own but the genetics of this would be so unlikely as to be virtually impossible. He was married briefly on two occasions and both women were white, as well. All this might be a coincidence, but it one wonders if he hated his father so much that he tried to obliterate everything about himself that might be similar this abusive and rejecting paternal role model.

Sometimes MJ did wonderful things, like “We are the World.” Sometimes he did horrible things, like dangling his baby over the balcony in front of a group of reporters. Sometimes he did inexplicable things, like trying to buy the remains of John Merrick, the “Elephant Man,” who was afflicted with a disfiguring condition called neurofibromatosis. It’s chilling to think of him wanting to posses the bones of a man who was seen as a physical freak and who tragically died quite young.

MJ bought a ranch and called it “Neverland.” He appeared obsessed with symbols of eternal childhood. People with early and sever trauma often have difficulty growing up and seeing themselves as fully-fledged adults. They tend to remain childlike in their appearance and attitude and naive about the workings of the real world. They hold on to their past, hoping to create the happy, loving childhood they never had. Was this what Michael Jackson was doing with his petting zoo and his carousel? Was this why he, like Peter Pan, surrounded himself with his own band of “lost boys?”

Most recently, he seemed to have stabilized, somewhat. He was allowing his children to be seen in public without their masks and shrouds. He had settled comfortably into his role as a doting father and his legal troubles were behind him. He was embarking on a major concert series and was diligently rehearsing for the shows. His death came as an enormous shock to many people, but perhaps not to everyone. After all, there was still a fabulous mansion teetering precariously on a flimsy foundation.

Recently, it was discovered that MJ had such a severe sleep disorder that he had been using general anesthesia in order to sleep. The physician who was administering this anesthesia outside of the appropriate hospital environment has a lot to answer for.

Apparently, the temptation to behave unethically was far too great for the plastic surgeons, family physicians and many of the other health care professionals involved with MJ. They put their desire for personal gain, whether in the form of money, power or access to the star ahead of what was good for him. Perhaps it was that they were so in awe of his greatness that they simply couldn’t refuse his inappropriate and dangerous requests, even when they should have

He was in a number of dysfunctional, symbiotic relationships with people who were supposed to be looking out for him, but who instead, were exploiting or pandering to him. Paradoxically, the fact that he had as much money and power as he did made it possible for anyone around him to become an enabler in his self-destructive behavior.

It could be that like so many survivors of childhood abuse who grapple with deep ambivalence and denial about their past, MJ rejected the help that was offered to him. Unlike most people, however, he had the ability to thoroughly insulate himself from exactly those individuals who might insist on his distancing himself from the toxic enablers in his presence and on getting some real help for his problems.

We may never know why he did all the wonderful, horrible and inexplicable things he did, and here lies the greatest tragedy. Obviously, many people loved him, but it seems that no-one was able to address his emotional wounds or help him obtain the therapy necessary for dealing with his early trauma. If only there had been someone in his life who knew the truth about his past and had the courage and wisdom to take a stand; perhaps his life could have been saved.

(C) Marcia Sirota MD

Anesthesia Malpractice

Anesthesia has been used many years to get rid of the feeling of pain that are experiencing physical trauma.  When doctors are performing medical procedures such as a surgery, they will administer the painkiller.  Anesthesia blocks the nerves from feeling pain.  The term is defined as ‘reversing the lack of awareness’.

Hospitals and other medical facilities have commonly used the term general anesthesia.  This puts the patient into a state of semi-consciousness; it relaxes the body during the procedure.  Malpractice relative to anesthesia is becoming more common.  Cases show wrongful administration of the medication that has led to cerebral palsy, stroke and death.

Anesthesia Malpractice Is a Common Occurrence

In the United States, research proves anesthesia errors counts for a great number of malpractice cases.  The fraction of doctors that were required to pay claims for mistakes they made involving anesthesia makes this type of malpractice the twelfth highest medical specialty.  Errors in the administration of anesthesia can be life-changing.

It is surprising that how common this form of malpractice is because it is difficult to prove negligence of a doctor or any other staff.  Hospital and medical facilities should keep adequate medical notes of the patient.  Although there is minimal tracking records, patients will still file a claim against the negligent party when they or someone they love were harmed due to negligence.

How Do Anesthesia Mistakes Happen?

Malpractice occurs when health care facilities fail to care for their patients properly, which includes not taking enough notes regarding administration of anesthesia.  It is good for medical staff to include in a patient’s file:

  • A Pre-Anesthesia Exam
  • Informed Consent Form
  • Operative Record
  • Transfer Notes
  • Doctor Notes
  • Post-Anesthesia Record

Keeping these records in a patient’s file may prove a mistake was made that may have been questioned before and it can show what changes were made.  The operating room is not the only location where this form of malpractice can occur, others include:

  • Preparing for surgery
  • After surgery
  • The recovery room
  • While giving birth
  • During dental procedures

Do you have a loved one who has been the victim of malpractice?

Free evaluations are offered when you take your case in to a medical attorney.  They have many years experience in malpractice cases.  Speak with a medical malpractice attorney to find out your legal options.