Common Injuries Caused by Anesthesia Errors
Anesthesia Injuries in Virginia Beach
The purpose of anesthesia is to prevent patients from feeling pain and experiencing emotional trauma during surgery. Even so, anesthesia can actually be one of the most frightening aspects of any surgical procedure.
Many people have grave concerns about not waking back up, or sustaining brain or nerve damage while anesthesia is administered. Anesthesia errors can also allow patients to wake up during the procedure. These concerns can cause severe anxiety for patients in the weeks leading up to their surgeries.
Even though anesthesia is administered by trained health professionals, negligent mistakes can unfortunately still happen during the anesthesia process. Anesthesia errors can lead to a wide variety of possibly life-altering injuries, or even death.
If you suffered severe injuries or lost a loved one because of the negligent administration of anesthesia in the greater Virginia Beach area, you should seek experienced legal representation as soon as possible. Medical malpractice cases are very stressful and difficult to handle, but you don’t have to face the complicated legal process alone.
Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C. is ready to fight to seek every last dollar you need and deserve for your losses. Our talented legal team can review your case as soon as you call us or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
Examples of Anesthesia Injuries and Errors and How They Happen
There are three kinds of anesthesia. Local anesthesia numbs a small, specific area of the body. Regional anesthesia numbs a larger area of the body. General anesthesia is the anesthesia most people think of, involving a person becoming completely unconscious.
General anesthesia is typically recommended in surgical procedures expected to take a long time, cause massive blood loss, or affect breathing. Common kinds of anesthesia errors include:
- Too much anesthesia (anesthesia overdose)
- Too little anesthesia
- Delayed anesthesia delivery
- Failure to properly monitor patient
- Failure to provide patient with proper instructions
- Failure to correctly intubate
- Inadequate product labeling
- Defective medical devices used during sedation
- Administering anesthesia to an allergic patient
- Failure to properly administer oxygen
- Failure to research patient’s medical record
- Harmful drug interactions
Anesthesia errors are traumatizing, and not always easy to identify. An experienced, compassionate attorney can help you identify the exact error in your case and get the justice you deserve for your injury.
Are Anesthesia Errors Considered Medical Malpractice?
Mistakes during the administration of anesthesia can constitute medical malpractice when the errors are committed by medical professionals responsible for the care of a patient. In most cases, such professionals have failed to satisfy the standard of care applicable to the profession.
An anesthesia-related medical malpractice case will involve the same four central elements of any medical malpractice claim: a medical care provider owed the patient a duty of care, the medical care provider breached that duty of care, that breach of duty caused the patient’s injuries, and those injuries caused damages.
When an anesthesia error case amounts to medical malpractice, an expert medical witness may be needed to argue that the standard of care was violated. Not all anesthesia errors are necessarily medical malpractice cases, so speaking with an experienced lawyer about your specific case is the best course of action.
Who to Sue for Anesthesia Injury in Virginia Beach
The anesthesiologists involved in the procedure are the common subjects of most anesthesia error claims. Anesthesiologists are not necessarily the only liable parties in these cases, however.
Hospitals can also be liable in a number of different scenarios. For example, a hospital could be vicariously liable for employing the anesthesiologist, negligently hiring or supervising the anesthesiologist when they are an independent contractor, or failing to properly maintain the equipment used in the administration of anesthesia.
In some situations, a nurse anesthetist could be liable, as could other medical professionals involved in the procedure.
When anesthesia errors stem from defective equipment, victims may be able to make product liability cases. Product liability is a very different type of claim from medical malpractice. It will need to be demonstrated that the machine or other defective element involved in the anesthesia process was defectively manufactured or defectively designed.
Injuries Caused by Anesthesia Accidents
Anesthesia errors can be traumatizing experiences that can cause a wide array of injuries. Anesthesia errors may result in such injuries as:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Heart attack
- Spinal cord injury
- Nerve damage
- Birth defects
According to the Mayo Clinic, about one or two people in every 1,000 could be partially awake during general anesthesia and experience what is called unintended intraoperative awareness, or anesthesia awareness. Anesthesia awareness may be the result of too little anesthesia being administered, or delayed anesthesia that results in awareness of pain during surgery.
When a person experiences anesthesia awareness, they are still paralyzed and cannot move or communicate. This experience can lead to severe psychological harm such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep disorders, flashbacks, and panic and anxiety disorders as well as a mistrust of physicians and medical settings.
How Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C. Can Help
Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C. can help you with your anesthesia malpractice case on contingency fee basis, which means you will not have to stress about paying an attorney up front. You will not have to pay us anything unless and until we win you a financial award.
Our firm has a record of success in medical malpractice cases that includes $1.7 million recovered in a foot surgery case, $1.4 million obtained in a lung nodule case, and $1.2 million recovered in an Erb’s palsy case.
If you were hurt or if you lost a loved one due to a negligent anesthesia error in the Virginia Beach area, make sure your next phone call is to us. We treat all of our clients with personalized attention and respect, and we believe you deserve full compensation for your suffering.
Our firm has been serving clients like you for more than three decades. Call us or contact us online now to take advantage of a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.