Anesthesiologists have one of the most important jobs in the operating room. During surgery, it is the anesthesiologist’s job to not only administer the anesthesia, but to also control and monitor the patient’s heart rate, breathing and all other critical life functions. Naturally, when the anesthesiologist makes an error or mistake, it can result in catastrophic, if not fatal, injuries to the patient.
If you or a family member is suffering from a serious injury or health complication as the result of anesthesia malpractice, you should speak with an experienced medical malpractice and negligence attorney about your legal rights and options. You may have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim in pursuit of compensation for your current and future medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost wages, and decreased quality of life. In the event that your loved one has died due to an anesthesia error, you can speak with an attorney about filing a wrongful death claim.
Examples of Anesthesia Errors
Anesthesia mistakes resulting in problems during surgery could include:
- Inadequate drug dosing
- Poor monitoring
- Failure to refill the anesthetic machine’s vaporisers
- Insufficient training
- Unfamiliarity with techniques used
- Machine misuse or malfunction
When under anesthesia, the patient places their trust in the anesthesiologist to slow their body down to the point of near death, while controlling the levels to make sure they do not experience pain from the medical procedure. Doctors specializing in anesthesia can make mistakes if they fail to follow the proper standards of medical care.
According to a 2009 study in the medical journal Anesthesiology, there were more than 2,200 anesthesia deaths between 1999 and 2005. Anesthesia was found to be the underlying cause in about 34 deaths every year in the United States and a contributing factor in about 281 other deaths. A little over 46% of the deaths are caused by anesthesia overdose, with the other deaths attributed to different anesthesia complications.