Anytime that we undergo surgery, we put our lives in the hands of our medical providers. We understand that there are risks associated with any surgical procedure, but we trust that our medical providers will follow the basics of patient safety.
During surgery, there is no medical provider more responsible for our safety than our anesthesiologist. Anesthesiologists are the physicians that administer anesthesia, which is the medication that keeps us unconscious during surgery.
Anesthesiologists are, on average, the highest paid professionals in the United States. They are well-compensated because they have very large patient safety responsibilities. We rightfully expect them to fulfill those responsibilities without exceptions.
If you were seriously injured, or lost a loved one, due to a careless anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist, do not hesitate to contact our Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC. For decades, we have represented individuals and families that were harmed by a physician or nurse’s medical negligence. We will fight for you to receive just compensation for your losses.
What is Anesthesiologist Malpractice?
Your anesthesiologist is responsible for ensuring that you are properly sedated and that you are not experiencing any pain or discomfort during a surgical procedure. For lengthy, complicated surgical procedures, the anesthesiologist will administer general anesthesia. Under those circumstances, you are unconscious. For simpler procedures that are typically conducted in outpatient facilities, the anesthesiologist will give you local or regional anesthesia, which makes you drowsy and unable to sense pain. Regional anesthesia may affect a large area of your body, such as from your waist down. Local anesthesia affects a smaller part of your body, such as a finger or hand.
In Georgia, all doctors must follow the basic rules of patient safety when they provide medical care to patients. When an anesthesiologist carelessly manages your anesthesia during surgery, he or she may have committed medical malpractice.
If you suffered an injury because an anesthesiologist acted recklessly, do not hesitate to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney regarding your legal rights. Our medical malpractice attorneys at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC will thoroughly evaluate your case and advise you regarding the best course of action to achieve just compensation for your losses.
Common Anesthesia Mistakes
At Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC, some of the most common anesthesia negligence cases we’ve handled include:
Too Little Anesthesia
When you undergo surgery, it is critical that you receive the proper levels of medication throughout the surgical procedure. Sometimes you may need to remain unconscious for hours. Other times, you may need to be awake, but be unable to feel any pain in a certain area of your body.
If an anesthesiologist is careless and you do not receive enough medication throughout the procedure, you could wake up in the middle of surgery. Worse yet, you might remain conscious and experience pain and discomfort, but be unable to communicate with the physicians. Naturally, this can lead to extreme physical and psychological trauma.
Anesthesia drugs are highly potent, which means that they must be carefully measured and administered. If you receive an overdose of anesthesia, you may remain in a prolonged state of unconsciousness, or worse, your heart might start pumping. Other overdose symptoms include nausea, vomiting, respiratory issues, hypothermia, seizures, and hallucinations. The patients that survive an anesthesia overdose may experience long-term side effects, such as anesthesia-related brain damage, or mental or physical impairment.
Not Waking Up
It is rare, but possible for a loved one to enter a coma state after being sedated for a prolonged surgical procedure. Sometimes, patients enter coma states or pass away due to natural causes. However, it is also possible that your loved one was injured as the result of anesthesia malpractice.
If your relative is currently in a coma, vegetative state, or otherwise not awake after a procedure, call us right away so that we can advise you about your potential legal options. We will thoroughly review your loved one’s medical records and determine if there is evidence of anesthesia or other medical malpractice.
Anesthesia drugs can be administered in various ways. Most commonly, they are given through one or more IVs. If an IV is not properly inserted, you may receive the anesthesia medication in the wrong part of your body. In other cases, if an IV is blocked, or comes unattached during your procedure, you will not receive the necessary medication. Both of these careless errors can lead to catastrophic injuries or death.
When you or a loved one receives general anesthesia, the anesthesiologist must ensure that you receive sufficient oxygen throughout the procedure. That requires intubation, which is the insertion of a tube through your mouth down into your airway. The tube is hooked up to a ventilator, which pushes air into your lungs to help you breathe. If you are not intubated, you may be deprived of oxygen, which can lead to brain damage or death.
Failure to Monitor
The anesthesiologist’s responsibilities do not begin and end with the initial administration of anesthesia. Rather, the anesthesiologist must actively monitor your vital signs throughout the procedure. Your anesthesiologist must also monitor the nurses that are supporting the surgeon. We previously represented a patient whose arm was dangling off of the operating table for hours during the surgical procedure on her abdominal cavity. The anesthesiologist and his team did not properly monitor our client and ensure that our client’s arm remained on the arm board during the procedure. As a result, our client suffered serious nerve damage in her arm.
If you or a loved one has potentially suffered from any one of the above forms of anesthesia malpractice, contact our Atlanta personal injury lawyers right away to learn more about the options you have moving forward.
Your Rights After an Anesthesia Death
If you believe your loved one passed away during or after surgery because the anesthesiologist failed to follow the basics of patient safety, call Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC right away. You may have the right to pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim. By calling us, you can speak to an attorney who will explain Georgia’s wrongful death laws, as well as the forms of compensation that your family may be eligible to receive as a result of the harms caused by the careless anesthesiologist.
Call Our Anesthesia Malpractice Lawyers Today
Our medical malpractice lawyers at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC are highly experienced at litigating anesthesia malpractice cases. Whether you suffered the injury or lost a loved one due to an anesthesiologist’s negligence, we will fight hard for you to receive the compensation you deserve.
Over the years, we have worked with many individuals and families that were harmed by physicians that failed to follow the basic patient safety rules. If you hire our firm, we will acquire all of your medical records. Then, we will hire a relevant physician safety expert to determine whether the anesthesiologist committed malpractice. If that physician safety expert concludes that the anesthesiologist committed malpractice, we can litigate your claims to help you achieve fair compensation for your losses.