Anesthesia Errors and Injuries from Medical Negligence

Anesthesia mistakes happen with major operations as well as with common elective procedures. An anesthesia error can cause severe permanent brain damage or death to a patient. Anesthesia errors happen every day in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and surgical centers. Anesthetists and Anesthesiologists play a vital role in surgeries.

Not only do they provide pain relief for the patients, they also have control over the patient’s life functions, including breathing, body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate. Anesthesiologists are responsible for the safe delivery of anesthesia to the patients. They are responsible for pre-operative evaluation, consulting with the surgical staff and post-operative management of the patients.

Anesthetists are nurses who are board certified in anesthesia and may work under the supervision of a doctor, whereas anesthesiologists are physicians themselves, who complete an accredited residency program in anesthesiology and are not required to work under the supervision of a physician.

Most people think that after the operation is finished, including a successful operation, that a patient is out of danger. This is not always the case. Sometimes after surgery, complications occur and anesthesia mistakes may be responsible. Anesthesia errors can cause permanent and severe injuries to the patient, including severe brain damage, paralysis, a coma, or death.

Often those responsible for the administration of the anesthesia and monitoring of the patients are not anesthesiologists, but anesthetists, and were often poorly trained. Many medical facilities and hospitals use anesthetists who may be able to handle most anesthesia requirements, but not unique situations or medical emergencies. Patients who find themselves under the care of poorly trained anesthetists during an emergency situation can end up with serious and permanent injuries, or even die.

Many people considering elective surgery might consult with several doctors before proceeding with the operation; however, very rarely does anyone meet or consult with their anesthesiologist or anesthetist. Most people probably never think how anesthesia is used in common elective surgeries such as plastic surgery or gastric bypass procedures, and the risks involved if something goes wrong.

Patients who have operations performed outside hospital settings are at a greater risk for anesthesia injuries or death because these medical facilities usually do not use anesthesiologists or have access to OR nurses and emergency physicians if a medical emergency occurs. Anesthesia malpractice is often linked to weight loss surgeries including gastric bypass surgeries outside of a hospital setting. If a medical emergency happens in a surgical center or doctor’s office, the medical professionals will likely have to call an ambulance in order to provide the patient with life-saving help, and the precious minutes a patient is kept waiting can cause serious and permanent brain injuries or death to the unfortunate patient.

If you or someone you love has suffered a serious injury because of an anesthesia mistake or other form of medical negligence, you may have a medical malpractice claim.

Dr. Fagel is an attorney and physician who represents plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases against doctors and hospitals exclusively on behalf of injured patients. His practice focuses on complex medical malpractice cases resulting in catastrophic injuries caused by doctor or hospital negligence, such as birth or brain damage, induced hypertension, wrongful death, cerebral palsy, Erb's palsy, nursing home negligence, misdiagnosis of cancer and paraplegia cases.

Dr. Fagel graduated from the University Of Illinois Medical College Of Medicine, M.D., 1972. He earned his law degree at Whittier College School of Law, Los Angeles, CA, J.D., 1982.

Copyright The Law Offices of Dr. Bruce G. Fagel & Associates

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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