Many people are more afraid of anesthesia than of the surgery itself, and with good reason. Whenever you undergo general anesthesia, you’re putting your life in the hands of the doctor or nurse who is administering the drugs. An anesthesiologist (or nurse-anesthetist) has little margin of error, and the consequences of a mistake can be as severe as brain damage or death. The frequency of these errors is difficult to determine because many instances go unreported.
A doctor who selects this specialty must be prepared to be fully engaged throughout any procedure, beginning with taking a thorough medical history, then continuing when prepping the patient, through the entire procedure, and into recovery. A lapse at any point might cost the patient’s life or health. Anesthesia medical malpractice can occur during childbirth or surgery, in a hospital, or outpatient surgical center operating room, in a doctor’s or dentist’s office. It can happen during preparation, during the actual procedure, or in the recovery room.
How Anesthesia Malpractice Occurs
Some causes of preventable anesthesia errors include:
- Failing to take a complete medical history, noting allergies and other medications
- Failure to instruct the patient regarding eating, drinking, and medication prior to anesthesia
- Incorrectly intubating the patient
- Giving too much or too little anesthesia
- Wrong choice of anesthesia drug
- Drug interactions
- Delaying delivery of anesthesia
- Using defective equipment
- Failing to monitor the patient closely
- Miscommunication among operating room personnel
What Problems Can Happen
Complications of anesthesia can range from sore throat from intubation to severe anxiety to personal injury and wrongful death. New information has surfaced in recent years about progressive loss of cognitive function following surgery among older patients that is thought to be connected to the choice of drugs selected for the anesthesia, with inhaled anesthetics associated with more serious dementia. These cases aren’t part of reported anesthesia error statistics because the signs appear in the weeks and months following the procedure.
Getting the Best Legal Representation for Your California Medical Malpractice Case
If you believe you or someone you care for has been the victim of anesthesia medical malpractice, it is essential that you gather and save all records related to the procedure. Don’t delay in hiring an attorney, because there are strict time limits that restrict how long you have to file an action.
While proving negligence is difficult, the attorneys at the Abronson law firm have experience and resources available to successfully present a claim for full financial compensation for present and future medical bills, loss of present and future earnings, mental impairment, disability, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, other economic and non-economic losses, and/or wrongful death.
Proving an anesthesia negligence case can be a long and laborious process, involving expert analysis and testimony. You need knowledgeable, experienced, and committed malpractice attorneys with access to respected medical experts and the willingness and ability to go to trial when necessary—attorneys like those you’ll find at Abronson Law Offices.
Call Abronson Law Offices today to schedule a free case consultation so we can help you determine if you have a viable medical malpractice case. Fees come out of the money we win for you, and if we don’t win, you pay no fees.
We accept medical malpractice cases in Santa Clara County and anywhere in the Bay Area.
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