Many people have concerns about being “put under” with anesthesia when undergoing surgery. In most cases, the risks of anesthesia are quite small, but when doctors or patients fail to follow proper protocol, there are certainly some risks.
The following are some ways you can help lower the risks as a patient:
- Consider alternatives to general anesthesia. General anesthesia is sometimes necessary for procedures, but if it is not, ask your doctor about other approaches like a spinal or local anesthetic.
- Meet your anesthesiology team. This gives you the opportunity to go over your options in more detail and ask any questions you have. Education is one of the best ways to make a more responsible, safe decision for you. You should check if any health conditions you have could affect the risks associated with anesthesia, as well.
- See if any family members have had bad anesthesia experiences. Although it is quite rare, it is possible for you to inherit a genetic vulnerability to more dangerous reactions to anesthesia, such as major increases in blood pressure levels. Therefore, you should double check with family members to see if anyone has had such a reaction. Then, if you or anyone in your family has ever had a bad anesthesia experience, make sure your doctor knows about it.
- Follow all the instructions the doctor provides. Your physician will most likely tell you not to eat anything past midnight the night before your surgery. It is extremely important to follow this command, as going under anesthesia with food still in your stomach could make you vomit up some of the food and then breathe it in, which could cause you to choke during the procedure. If you ate after midnight, inform your doctors so that they can postpone or cancel the procedure.
Errors in administering anesthesia can cause serious health complications. If you or a loved one his dealing with this issue, work with a knowledgeable San Diego medical malpractice attorney at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire today.