Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for an Anesthesia Error?
April 5, 2021 • Our Blog
Anesthesia plays an important role when it comes to medical procedures in the United States. This is particularly true for surgeries where it is crucial for patients to be unconscious and completely immobilized so that surgeons can adequately perform the procedure. Unfortunately, anesthesia mistakes do occur, and this can lead to serious and life-threatening injuries or illnesses for a patient. Here, we want to discuss whether or not a person can file a medical malpractice lawsuit if they are injured due to an anesthesia error.
Anesthesia Mistakes can Lead to Catastrophic Injuries or Illnesses
Medical mistakes are not uncommon in this country. Johns Hopkins researchers have shown that medical errors are the third leading cause of death across the US. However, anesthesia errors are particularly scary. When we look at data available from the Patient Safety Authority, we can see that millions of people undergo general anesthesia each year in this country. However, the PSA also estimates that around 100 patients suffer from an anesthesia mistake every day.
Additional studies have shown that anesthesia mistakes have been increasing over the last decade or so, and the Becker Hospital Review has said that there are approximately three fatalities per 10,000 surgical procedures involving anesthetics.
Anesthesia mistakes can lead to a wide range of medical conditions. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Heart attack
- Nerve injuries
- Blood clots
- Nausea and vomiting
- Birth defects or other birth injuries
- Brain damage due to lack of oxygen
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
Anytime a medical professional fails to uphold an adequate standard of medical care and causes harm to a patient, they may be subject to a medical malpractice lawsuit. It is entirely possible to file a malpractice lawsuit against an anesthesiologist or any part of the medical team that played a role in a mistake occurring. There are various ways that anesthesia errors can occur as a result of the actions of a negligent medical provider, including the following:
- Failing to check the patient’s medical history
- Failing to properly monitor a patient under anesthesia
- Contraindications amongst patient meds and anesthesia meds
- The anesthesiologist’s lack of training
- Administration of the wrong medication
- Unsafe storage of anesthesia medications
- Unlabeled or mislabeled syringes
- Packaging or labeling similar other medications
Cases involving anesthesia mistakes need to be evaluated by a trusted Miami medical malpractice attorney. An attorney can use their resources and experience to fully investigate each claim and determine the facts of what happened. They will investigate the training and qualifications of each medical provider involved and determine whether or not the patient received adequate medical care.
Types of Compensation Available
There may be various types of compensation available to victims of anesthesia errors. These cases, along with other types of medical malpractice claims, often result in the victim recovering various types of economic and non-economic damages. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Complete coverage of medical bills arising as a result of the mistake
- Compensation for any physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Coverage of prescription medications and medical devices
- Lost income if a victim cannot work
- General household out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
The total amount of compensation available in these cases will vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding each particular anesthesia mistake. An attorney will work with trusted medical and economic experts to properly calculate a patient’s total losses.