Why Did My Wife Have a Heart Attack During Surgery?

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If you've had a close member of your family recently undergo surgery, then you've likely been overwhelmed with emotional turmoil. Hospitals can be scary places, and some of that fear stems from a lack of understanding on our part about what goes on there. Doctors use terms we don't understand, and rather than ask them to walk us through every last specific, we just nod our heads. When we fail to understand what's happening to our loved ones, then sometimes their mistakes can go unnoticed. If someone you love has experienced a heart attack during surgery, then it may be a sign that there was a mistake during the procedure. Learn to recognize the alarming symptoms that may signify that malpractice was involved during surgery.

Both apoxia and hypoxia are terms refer to patients who have been deprived of oxygen during an anesthetized procedure, and the lack of oxygen may be a result of having a heart attack on the table. If it was a mild enough cardiac arrest then it's possible that the incident was missed by the doctors. This may occur because the doctors supplied too much of the drug, the wrong drug, or a drug that conflicted with known medications the patient had already been taking. Symptoms afterward can include headaches, dizziness, confusion, seizures or mood swings. While patients may have mood swings or headaches just based on the stress of their recent surgery, it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to complications from an operation. Call 911 or go the hospital immediately for proper treatment if there seems to be any cause for concern. A doctor can look at your loved one's brain to determine if there was any sort of permanent damage to the brain due to lack of oxygen.

Malpractice and You 

If your loved one had a heart attack due to the anesthesia delivered during routine surgery, then you need to look into your options. Doctors are dealing with people's lives and malpractice suits bring to attention communication breakdowns within hospitals or how unqualified physicians are being allowed to practice at certain facilities. Suing for malpractice is not about halting medical progress through fear tactics, it's about ensuring that only the highly skilled are on the job. You also deserve justice and monetary reparations due to their mistake. This can be the most important step you make to help others avoid the same situation for those that they love.

Taking Action

In a study done by Columbia University, they found that nearly half the deaths caused from anesthesia came from patients having an overdose during surgery. While most surgeries do go off without a hitch, mistakes can be more common than you think. You can find trained doctors working at our firm which means that they understand the cause and effects of surgery. They can explain what happened and what you can do about it. As stated above, it's possible that the symptoms may be unrelated to apoxia or hypoxia caused by a heart attack. However, since your surgeon or medical team is unlikely to admit to having made a huge mistake, sometimes getting a second opinion is the wisest thing you can do.

Disclaimer - Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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