Anesthesia Errors and Medical Malpractice Liability

At the offices of Day, Shell & Liljenquist, LC, we’re proud to offer a wide range of personal injury attorney services to our clients. These cases often refer to vehicle accidents, but also may refer to areas like dog bites, workplace injuries, product defects and even medical malpractice from healthcare professionals.

There are several possible sub-categories within this final area – there are a number of different medical services or procedures you may require, and negligence from professionals could have several different negative results. One form of medical malpractice that requires strong legal knowledge to move forward with is errors in the application of anesthesia during a given medical procedure; let’s look at the basics of anesthesia and how it works, plus who might be at fault and the damages you could be due if you or a loved one has been the victim of an avoidable error in this area.

anesthesia errors medical malpractice liability

Anesthesia Basics and Professionals

Anesthesia is a strong, widely-used sedative for helping patients get through delicate, potentially painful procedures such as surgery. It’s handled by professionals known as anesthesiologists, people who are specifically trained in its proper application.

Anesthesiologists are responsible not only for the proper amount of sedative being used, but also for assessing areas like the patient’s breathing, heart rate, temperature and other important areas while sedated. When done properly, anesthesia application will allow patients to avoid pain and often even a memory of often-delicate surgery formats.

Negligent Parties in Anesthesia Errors

If something goes wrong with anesthesia, the results can be significant. Patients who are given too much of a given sedative can undergo severe brain damage, paralysis, extreme pneumonia, comas or even death in some cases, often with worsening symptoms over a period of time after the overexposure.

In many cases, the anesthesiologist will be considered at fault in these circumstances. However, it’s vital to note that they are not the only party who could be at fault – in other cases, the provider or manufacturer of a defective sedative could be liable. In still others, the hospital itself could hold liability due to incomplete or improper safety procedures. This will all depend on the source of the error, an area your attorney will help you pinpoint.

Possible Costs Incurred

There are several distinct cost areas that may face patients who have undergone an anesthesia-related error, each of which may be covered by the liable party depending on the particulars. These costs include all of the following areas:

  • Medical expenses related to overexposure of anesthesia
  • Loss of potential income due to time missed from work
  • In cases of death due to anesthesia error, burial and funeral costs may also be covered
  • In cases of death, loss of love and care from the victim may also be considered

In situations where a death took place as a result of anesthesia error, there may be a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of the deceased. In cases where no fatality has occurred, these cases are generally filed as medical malpractice.

For more on anesthesia concerns and how to receive compensation if you or a loved one has been a victim of anesthesia error, or to learn about any of our worker’s compensation, estate planning or family law services, speak to the staff at the offices of Day, Shell & Liljenquist, LC today.

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