Anesthesia Malpractice: Do I Have a Strong Case?

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Almost everyone has received anesthesia in their lifetime, whether it is a local injection at the dental office or a mask over the mouth and nose to make you unconscious before surgery. Anesthesia allows patients to go through medical procedures by blocking pain. Even though it is a common medical procedure, it comes with its fair share of risks.

Using too much, too little, or using the wrong anesthesia type can lead to injuries or even death. This is referred to as anesthesia malpractice. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries or wrongful death due to medical negligence, you may qualify for a medical malpractice lawsuit. So do you have a case for anesthesia malpractice? Continue reading to find out.

What is anesthesia malpractice?

Anesthesia is a procedure that allows patients to go through medical procedures by blocking pain. Anesthesia malpractice occurs due to errors that hospitals, anesthesiologists, and even certified registered nurse anesthetists make. The malpractice can lead to brain damage, permanent injury, or even death. 

Types of anesthesia and the risks associated with them

There are three types of anesthesia. Here are the types of anesthesia and their risks.

Local anesthesia

Local anesthesia is administered to a part of the body to numb the area without making you unconscious. It is safe when properly administered. However, larger doses of anesthesia can lead to trauma, especially when it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Too much anesthesia can affect a patient’s heartbeat, breathing, and blood pressure. It is for this reason that there should be emergency care equipment when anesthetics are being used. 

Regional anesthesia

Regional anesthesia affects a significant part of your body, which could be your arm. The regional anesthesia is administered by injection near the spinal cord or a bunch of nerves. At times, the nerve can get damaged, which will cause weakness, unrelenting loss of feeling, or soreness. Regional anesthesia leads to system toxicity. It can also lead to infection and pulmonary problems. 

General anesthesia

General anesthesia is the anesthesia that renders a patient unconscious so that they won’t remember the surgery. General anesthesia works by slowing down the body’s throat functioning, which includes coughing, gagging, and swallowing. One of the dangers of general anesthesia is that liquid or food can be stuck in the respiratory tract. General anesthesia can also trigger increased heart rate and blood pressure. Other complications can be hoarseness or damage to the voice box and mouth. Serious complications of general anesthesia can lead to heart attack, stroke, and blood pressure. 

Anesthesia being drawn from a vial
Gloved hand drawing anesthesia from a vial

Grounds for an anesthesia malpractice lawsuit

Before anesthesia is administered, the specialist needs to review the patient’s record, prior medications, and patient history. There is a level of risk in anesthesia. Errors can be due to many factors such as negligence. If a medical specialist does not provide the proper care, the doctor can be held responsible for the injuries. 

The anesthesia malpractice can take place during the procedure or the pre-operation medical review. If the specialist does not review the medical records, they can administer the wrong medication to the patient. Wrong medication can lead to injury or death. If the anesthesia is administered but the patient is on medication that negatively interacts with the anesthetic, it can lead to death. 

If the specialist misadvises the patient, fails to provide follow-up care, or doesn’t administer the anesthesia properly, they’ll be held accountable. In such a case, the patient’s family has the legal right to hold the professional at fault. If the specialist fails to inform the patient of the medical procedure consequences, it can be grounds for a lawsuit. If the surgeon fails to identify a medical condition that can make the procedure risky, you can also sue for medical malpractice. Misdiagnosis is also an anesthesia error that can support anesthesia malpractice. 

Medical negligence is when the doctor does not exercise reasonable care or does something wrong. In a medical malpractice case, the court defines negligence as when the health care provider fails to exercise care and skill that an average provider would take into account. Your attorney will hire the services of an expert medical witness to prove that the health care provider was negligent. The expert witness will consider things like the anesthesiologist’s notes and pre-surgical risk factors to figure out what took place during the medical procedure. 

In the case of death due to anesthesia malpractice, chances are high that it will not be accurately described in the records. The details of the procedure may be kept secret. The lack of information will make it hard for family members to go through with a medical malpractice lawsuit. There are common errors that occur due to medical negligence. Some examples of anesthesia malpractice include:

  • Administration of the wrong anesthesia type.
  • Administration of the wrong anesthesia dosage.
  • Failing to put the patient under anesthesia.
  • Failing to manage the administration of medications, blood, and fluids.
  • Failure to monitor patients.
  • Delayed anesthesia delivery.
  • Prolonged sedation.
  • Faulty equipment

The consequences of an anesthesia error will depend on the type of mistake made and the medical team’s response. The common injuries that occur due to anesthesia malpractice include asphyxia, spinal cord injuries, coma, brain damage, stroke, or damage to the trachea.

Contact Weltchek Mallahan & Weltchek

Now you know the instances when you have a case after anesthesia malpractice. The next thing you have to do is get the services of an experienced lawyer to help prove your case and ensure your loved ones get the compensation they deserve.

Anesthesia malpractices are hard to prove and, for this reason, you need to hire an experienced lawyer. If your loved one has suffered injuries due to anesthesia malpractice, you may be liable for financial compensation. Weltchek Mallahan & Weltchek specializes in medical malpractice and will take on your case. We don’t charge you anything to evaluate your case. 

At Weltchek Mallahan & Weltchek, we work on a contingency fee basis. You won’t pay anything unless we make a recovery for you. If you have injuries or death due to anesthesia error, an attorney can help you file for compensation. For a free case evaluation, contact us today.

Who Can You Trust with Your Case?

Have you or a loved one been injured due to negligence? We want to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you believe you have a case; time is an important factor. Interested in learning more? Get in touch with us so we can better evaluate and serve your needs in getting the justice your loved one deserves. You may very well be entitled to compensation.


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