Medical malpractice lawyers, Baltimore medical malpractice law firm, medical error, Pneumonia, sleep apnea, Baltimore medical error law firm, hospital mistakes, negligence

Sleep Apnea Sufferers Have a Higher Risk of Hypoxia During Surgery

September 12th, 2016

Sleep apnea is a disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts while the individual is asleep. Since it is a disruption to REM sleep, those affected often feel fatigued during the day or wake up with headaches and have difficulty with irritability and paying attention. It is also uncontrollable, which can make it potentially dangerous to those who suffer from it.

Sleep apnea can cause complications when a patient is put under anesthesia for surgery. Anesthesia is a temporary state of unconsciousness. It slows down heart rate and relaxes the patient, which can then cause more intense breathing issues for those with sleep apnea.

Patients who have sleep apnea have an increased chance of complications during anesthesia including:

  • Hypoxia
  • Pneumonia
  • Difficult Intubation
  • Heart Attack (MI)
  • Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

When undergoing surgery it is important to inform your doctor if you have sleep apnea. However, most individuals who have sleep apnea are unaware that they even suffer from it. Before surgery takes place, it is the responsibility of your doctor to conduct a thorough preoperative assessment to ensure that the patient will be safe once in surgery.

Post-operative patients should also be closely monitored for hypoxia or other complications. Hypoxia is a life-threatening condition that occurs when a person is not receiving enough oxygen, such as when the airway is blocked, or breathing is too shallow, too slow, or breathing stops altogether. Hypoxic injuries include tissue and organ damage, heart attacks, brain injury and even death.

Symptoms of hypoxia include:

  • Skin, lips and nail beds turning blue (cyanosis)
  • Fast heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Rapid breathing (tachypnea)
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • Coughing
  • Confusion or loss of consciousness.

When any of these symptoms occur the most important thing is to get oxygen back into the body. Hospital professionals may do this by delivering oxygen through at tube into the nose or mouth, or a breathing machine may be used for more severe cases.

If you or a loved one experienced hypoxia or any other complication after surgery because a health care professional failed to take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety, call The Yost Legal Group at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529) for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys at Yost Legal Group fight hard for individuals who have been negatively impacted by the negligence of others and are always ready to investigate your claim with compassion and determination.

The Yost Legal Group – Experienced Attorneys Dedicated to Protecting Your Rights

Compartment Syndrome, Post-Operative Onset

Compartment syndrome is a potentially devastating post-operative complication in which increased pressure results in insufficient blood supply to muscle and nerve tissue within the effected internal space. Causes of compartment syndrome in the post-operative patient include: being left too long in a position during surgery that blocked one or more blood vessels; or, having bandages or casts too tightly applied. This medical condition can arise in response to bleeding and/or swelling in any area of…

Read More »

Paralysis Caused By Spinal Surgery

An ideal outcome in spinal surgery is dependent of the coordination of efforts by the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and neurophysiologist. Because patients are under general anesthesia during surgery, techniques for examining the nervous system for potential injuries can be somewhat limited. Intraoperative spinal cord monitoring (IOM) allows the surgeon to record the electrical signals transferred along the spinal cord and use this recording to prevent neural irritation or spinal cord injury during surgery. Electrodes are placed…

Read More »

Injury During Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death globally. Because more people die annually from heart disease than from any other cause, it is important to take preventative measures to examine how well your heart is working. Diagnostic procedures and medical tests are commonly performed by medical professionals to monitor the heart and keep people from suffering fatal heart attacks. Cardiac catheterization, a procedure used to diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions, involves inserting…

Read More »

Perforation of Small Intestine During Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy, commonly referred to as a “lap choly,” is a procedure that involves removing the gallbladder. A patient may need removal if the gallbladder is full of gallstones (cholelithiasis), inflamed, or infected (cholecystitis). When a lap choly is needed, laparoscopic techniques are used to perform this minimally invasive surgery with the assistance of a video camera and several thin instruments. The laparoscopic incisions, each one about ½” in size, limit the surgeon’s view of…

Read More »