Anesthesia Errors, Mistakes, and Medical Malpractice
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When you undergo anesthesia, you are entrusting your life to the physician or medical professional who administers it. Anesthesia must be meticulously planned, executed, and supervised. Although undergoing anesthesia always carries risk, there are certain mistakes that should never occur, regardless of the situation.
If you or someone you love suffered from an injury during surgery, it may have been caused by a preventable anesthesia error. So how do you know if your injury calls for a lawsuit and, if so, what can you expect? Here, we cover what you need to know about negligence law so that you can pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.
What Are Anesthesia Errors?
General anesthesia affects the entire body and, because a patient is essentially unconscious during the procedure, it’s an incredibly delicate process. Anesthesiologists have the serious responsibility of administering the medication and monitoring the patient before, during, and immediately after a procedure. These specialists are extensively trained in administering medications to patients undergoing surgery, as a patient’s health and life are at stake if any medication errors are made.
Still, mistakes can and do happen for various reasons, including carelessness, communication errors, fatigue, and more. Some common errors associated with anesthesiology include:
- Administering too much anesthesia
- Administering anesthesia to a patient that has a known allergy (or failing to ask a patient about possible allergies)
- Improperly intubating the patient
- Failing to monitor the patient
- Failing to consider harmful drug interactions
- Improper/inadequate administration of oxygen during surgery
- Failing to monitor a patient's vital signs during surgery
- Delaying administration of anesthesia
- Failing to provide the patient with proper post-surgery instructions
- Using defective medical equipment
- Failing to resuscitate a patient
What Do You Need to Prove in an Anesthesia Error Case?
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as a result of anesthesia error, you may be entitled to compensation from a medical malpractice lawsuit. With the help of an experienced legal team, you’ll need to demonstrate that your case contains the following:
- Duty. This refers to the fact that your doctor was obligated to provide safe medical care at the time of the alleged malpractice.
- Breach of duty. In order to be successful in your lawsuit, you will need to prove that your physician failed to provide the accepted standard of care and that another, similarly trained doctor would not have made the same mistakes that led to the injury.
- Damages. Here, you’ll need to demonstrate how you or your loved one suffered harm. This may include the need for additional medical treatment and lost wages, as well as pain and suffering.
- Causation. Lastly, you will need to prove that the injury was caused by your doctor’s breach of duty.
How Are Anesthesia Error Cases Resolved?
Every victim of medical malpractice who brings a lawsuit has a different experience based on the unique elements of their case, and some cases may not reach every step in the overall process. Still, most cases will include some or all of the following steps:
- Investigation. Your lawyers will help you gather medical records, bills, correspondence between you and your doctor, etc., which will help establish the foundation of your case. The lawyers will then consult with experts in the relevant medical fields to determine whether medical malpractice occurred.
- Filing a lawsuit. During this stage, your lawyer will formally file your case in court. The lawsuit will be processed and sent to your physician, who will need to respond within a specified amount of time, usually a certain number of days.
- Entering the discovery phase. This occurs when you and the defendant exchange information to build the case on both sides, including medical records, hospital bills, and more. Next, you will be deposed (i.e., questioned under oath) by the doctor's attorney. The doctor will also be deposed by your hospital negligence lawyer, who will ask questions about the care you received.
- Negotiating a settlement. During this stage, your lawyer asks the defendant to pay certain compensation in order to avoid going to trial. If a settlement is reached, the defendant agrees to pay compensation for your damages. If the case does not reach a settlement, the lawsuit will then move on to a trial.
- Going to trial. In this final step, a judge and jury will hear arguments from your team as well as the defendant’s, and the court will decide the outcome of the case.
Locations We Serve
Our anesthesia malpractice lawyers have handled cases nationwide. Altogether, our attorneys are licensed to practice in almost a dozen states, including:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- Washington, D.C.
If you reside outside of these states, Janet, Janet & Suggs may still be able to represent you. Our attorneys have received court approval to practice in several other states across the country.
An Experienced Legal Firm Personally Committed to Your Case
The legal team at Janet, Janet & Suggs is known for taking on the tough cases for victims of medical malpractice. For more than 40 years, our nationally recognized team has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of injured victims and their families when they needed it most. Contact us today so we can help you decide the next best steps in your case.