Anesthesia Brain Damage

Did you or a family member suffer brain damage due to an injury or complication while under anesthesia? Anesthesia errors can be traumatic and result in severe injury and long-lasting consequences.

Working with Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers is the first step towards getting compensation for your pain. We’ll work with you to assess your medical malpractice lawsuit case and the circumstances surrounding it and advise you on all available legal options.

Our attorneys understand anesthesia brain damage cases and will take on every aspect of your claim, ensuring that you and your family’s needs are met and that you receive compensation for your suffering. 

Yes, you can get brain damage from anesthesia. Brain damage from anesthesia is a rare but possible risk, especially in vulnerable populations such as the elderly, infants, or those with preexisting neurological conditions. 

Anesthesia Brain Damage

Can Anesthesia Cause Brain Damage?

Studies have shown that prolonged or repeated exposure to general anesthesia, regional anesthesia, or local anesthesia, can potentially lead to cognitive function impairments, including memory loss and attention deficits.

Mechanisms behind this may involve neuroinflammation, disrupted brain connectivity, adverse effects, and oxidative stress. 

However, for most healthy individuals undergoing routine surgeries, the risk of brain damage due to anesthesia complications remains very low but it’s not nonexistent, particularly when anesthesia errors occur.

Our Experience With Anesthesia Brain Damage Lawsuits

We’re a Chicago-based law firm specializing in medical malpractice with extensive experience representing clients in cases involving brain damage and other injuries that occurred while a patient was under anesthesia. 

We have successfully litigated numerous cases where patients suffered harm due to anesthesia errors or complications, securing compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

Our expertise in this area often involves collaborating with medical experts to uncover negligence and advocate for their clients’ rights. 

We focus on clients in Chicago, Illinois, and the surrounding areas – contact us for a free consultation.

Some examples of cases our Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers help recovered includes a $1,250,000 in connection with confidential medical malpractice case.

brain damage from anesthesia

What Causes Anesthesia Brain Damage?

Anesthesia-induced brain damage, though relatively rare, can occur due to various factors and it can have devastating consequences.

Here are some key causes:

  • Hypoxia (Low Oxygen Levels). During surgery, general anesthesia errors like improper ventilation management, improper intubation, or airway obstruction can depress breathing, leading to reduced oxygen supply to the brain. Prolonged hypoxia or lack of oxygen to the brain can cause a hypoxic brain injury.

  • Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure). Poor regulation of blood pressure during general anesthesia can reduce blood flow to the brain. Insufficient blood flow can result in brain ischemia and subsequent damage.

  • Overdose of Anesthetic Agents. An anesthesia overdose or administering too high a dose of anesthetic drugs can result in neurotoxicity and subsequent or permanent brain damage.

  • Hypercapnia (High Carbon Dioxide Levels). Anesthesia can impair the body’s ability to expel carbon dioxide, leading to high levels of CO2, which can affect brain function.

  • Neurotoxicity of Anesthetic Agents. Certain anesthetic drugs can be neurotoxic, especially in vulnerable populations like young children and the elderly. Animal studies have shown potential for brain cell damage and cognitive deficits after exposure to anesthesia.

  • Pre-existing Medical Conditions. Conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease can increase the risk of complications during general anesthesia or local anesthesia, including brain damage or cardiac arrest.

  • Prolonged Surgery. Longer surgeries increase the duration of exposure to general anesthesia, raising the risk of complications that could lead to brain injuries, patient unconscious, and loss of brain cells.

  • Inadequate Monitoring. Proper monitoring of patient’s vitals, including oxygen levels, blood pressure, blood fluid levels, and CO2 levels, is crucial. Inadequate monitoring can lead to unrecognized issues that cause brain damage.

  • Age and Vulnerability. The very young and elderly are more susceptible to anesthesia-related brain damage due to their developing or aging brains, including patients with early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Embolism or Stroke. Errors that lead to the formation of blood clots or air embolisms can obstruct cerebral blood vessels, leading to strokes, brain injury, or loss of brain cells.

  • Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction (POCD). Some patients, particularly older patients, may experience postoperative cognitive decline in different brain regions after surgery and anesthesia, potentially due to a combination of the above factors.

  • Improper Monitoring. Failure to adequately monitor vital signs and neurological status during anesthesia can delay the detection and correction of adverse events, increasing the risk of severe brain damage.

Common Injuries Or Complications From Anesthesia Brain Damage

Anesthesia-induced brain damage can result in several types of injuries or complications, including but not limited to:

  • Cognitive Dysfunction. Post-operative cognitive dysfunction is characterized by memory loss or memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and impaired mental functions, POCD is more common in elderly or certain patients but can affect people of all ages.

  • Ischemic Stroke. This type of stroke is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain due to low blood pressure or embolism during surgery.

  • Hemorrhagic Stroke. This type of stroke occurs if there is bleeding in the brain, which can be related to blood pressure fluctuations during anesthesia.

  • Hypoxic Brain Injury. An injury that stems from insufficient oxygen supply to the brain during surgery, hypoxia can lead to cell death and various neurological deficits.

  • Malignant Hyperthermia. Some people with Alzheimer’s disease or heart disease potentially deadly reaction to anesthesia that can occur during surgery, causing a quick fever and muscle contractions.

  • Delirium. An acute state of confusion that can occur postoperatively, especially in older adults. It can last for days or weeks and may increase the risk of long-term cognitive decline.

  • Neurodevelopmental Issues. In young children, exposure to certain anesthetics has been associated with long-term neurodevelopmental problems, including learning disabilities and behavioral issues.

  • Seizures. Anesthetic drugs can sometimes provoke seizures, either during surgery or in the immediate postoperative period that may require critical care medicine & intensive care.

  • Coma. In severe cases, anesthesia-related complications can lead to a coma, particularly if there is significant hypoxia or stroke.

  • Peripheral Nerve Injury. Although less directly related to brain damage, nerve injuries can occur due to improper positioning during surgery or prolonged pressure on nerves.

  • Psychiatric Symptoms. Some patients may experience depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders following surgery with anesthesia.

  • Anoxic Brain Injury. A severe form of hypoxic injury where complete oxygen deprivation occurs, potentially leading to severe brain damage and long-term neurological deficits.

Preventive measures, such as thorough preoperative assessment, vigilant intraoperative monitoring, and prompt management of any complications, are crucial in minimizing the risk of anesthesia-related brain damage or cognitive impairment.

When these measures are lacking or other errors arise, there is an increased risk of an anesthesia-related permanent brain damage.

Anesthesia Brain Damage Lawsuit FAQs

Get answers to your questions about anesthesia brain damage malpractice lawsuits from our Chicago anesthesia error lawyers.

How Are Anesthesia Brain Damage And Similar Injuries Proven In Malpractice Cases?

Malpractice cases involving any kind of anesthesia error or complication require certain evidence.

Typically, this involves demonstrating that the medical professional(s) involved failed to adhere to the accepted standard of care during the procedure. 

This failure is proven via expert testimony from anesthesiologists or related specialists, medical record review to identify deviations from protocol, and the establishment of a clear causal link between the error and the resulting injury through medical analysis and documentation.

What Evidence Is Needed For An Anesthesia Brain Damage Malpractice Lawsuit?

Some examples of key evidence in an anesthesia brain damage lawsuit includes medical records detailing the anesthesia plan and associated procedures, any complications, and subsequent treatment. 

Expert testimony from anesthesiologists or other relevant medical specialists is often critical for establishing the standard of care and identifying deviations to build your claim against the anesthesiologist.

Documentation demonstrating the link between the error and the resulting injury, such as medical evaluations and patient testimony, also strengthens the case for negligence and damages.

Is There A Statute Of Limitations On Anesthesia Brain Damage Lawsuits In Illinois?

Yes, in Illinois, there is a statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits, including those related to brain damage and other anesthesia errors. 

A malpractice lawsuit must be filed within 2 years from the date the patient knew or reasonably should have known of the injury, but no more than 4 years from the date of the alleged malpractice. 

However, there are exceptions and nuances to this rule, making it essential to consult with a qualified attorney to understand how the statute of limitations applies to your medical malpractice lawsuit case.

What Kind Of Compensation Can I Expect From A Successful Anesthesia Brain Damage Lawsuit?

In a successful lawsuit for brain damage due to anesthesia complications or similar anesthesia error, your compensation typically covers medical expenses related to treating the injury caused by the malpractice, including surgeries, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical care. 

Additionally, your compensation may include reimbursement for lost income due to the injury plus damages for pain and suffering endured as a result of the malpractice. 

The exact amount of compensation you may receive in an anesthesia brain damage malpractice lawsuit is based on factors such as the severity of the injury, the impact on the patient’s life, and applicable laws in your jurisdiction.

Find Out If You Have An Anesthesia Brain Damage Case In Chicago, Illinois

Did you or a loved one suffer brain damage or another injury while you were under anesthesia during an operation that was performed in Illinois?

If you are located in Chicago or the surrounding areas, contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers for a free consultation.