Several medical emergencies that take place in a healthcare unit are found to be the result of allergies to local anesthesia. Minor procedures that involve the administration of local anesthesia may set off an allergic reaction in the patient.
In light of such situations, the physician must stay with the patient throughout the administration of the anesthesia, and remain after the administration to check for signs of any negative reactions so that an immediate contingency action can be provided to manage an adverse reaction.
Scope of Local Anesthesia Errors that Cause Allergies
Local anesthetic drugs are often administered in oral procedures, cesarean sections and eye surgeries, among various other medical procedures. Before the anesthetic drug is administered to the patient, the anesthesiologist must reconfirm whether the patient is allergic to any type of medications or local anesthetics. When faced with an allergic reaction from a patient who has just been administered a local anesthetic, the anesthesiologist must act immediately to reduce the potential damage of the drug.
In most cases of allergic reactions to local anesthetic, it's not the drug that triggers a reaction but the patient's anxiety associated with the shot. The psychogenic response, commonly referred to as syncope or fainting, is one of the most frequently encountered reactions. Another common reaction is hyperventilation or an anxiety attack. Patients with high level of anxiety or apprehension may exhibit these reactions during or after receiving a local anesthetic.
However, in the case of patients suffering from conditions such as diabetes, asthma, coronary artery disease, epilepsy, thyroid dysfunction and others, may exhibit allergic reactions that are more closely associated with their respective conditions.
A vast majority of cases of allergies to local anesthesia involve toxic overdoses that set off an adverse reaction. Immediate signs may include rashes, itches, hives, and difficulty breathing.
· Patients who are six years and younger, or 65 years and older may not have complete efficiency of functions such as metabolism, absorption, and excretion.
· The lesser the weight of an individual and lesser his muscle mass, the lesser is the tolerance to an anesthetic drug.
· Liver damage - liver conditions cause local anesthetics to accumulate in the blood. The drugs are usually bio-transformed by the liver and decomposed so that the unwanted material can be eliminated from the body through the kidneys. In the presence of a liver disease, the body's ability to break down and get rid of toxic ingredients, is reduced.
· Kidney diseases - When the kidneys are damaged, the body's ability to excrete the product is diminished, creating a toxic environment in the blood.
· Genetic risks - When the body is genetically devoid of an enzyme (serum cholinesterase) which helps the liver with the biotransformation, it can cause result in an overdose due to increased blood levels.
If you have suffered an allergic reaction by a local anesthetic due to medical negligence, contact our New York City medical malpractice attorneys to understand your best options for legal action.
Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff (RMFW) have law offices situated in Astoria, Queens, New York City and two offices in Brooklyn.
Call RMFW 212-344-1000 to schedule a free consultation. We will evaluate your case. If your case has merit, we will run with you all the way to the finish line. We know how to win cases for clients and we know how to attack the opposition. We have won millions of dollars for people we have represented; you can be on this highly sought after list.
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