Unbeknownst to many patients entering operating rooms is that the most dangerous aspect of surgery is not the surgeon’s scalpel but rather the application of anesthesia. An anesthesiologist’s job is one that has zero room for error and the fact that medical insurance premiums for anesthesiologists are substantially higher than all other medical specialties reflects that.
Causes of Anesthesia Medical Malpractice
Anesthesia medical malpractice can occur at any time during the surgical process, including in the operating room, during pre-operative preparation, within the confines of the recovery room, within the doctor’s office, and during childbirth.
Often, the root cause of anesthesia medical malpractice is due to the anesthesiologist making simple errors in judgment or overlooking obvious signs that reflect danger to their patient including:
- Defective equipment
- Administering an overdose due to failing to adequately examine a patient’s history or administering the wrong dosage
- Failing in their responsibility to properly educate the patient about food or alcohol restrictions before or after the procedure
- Negligent in their responsibility to monitor a patient’s vital signs
- Incorrectly incubating a patient
Potential Injuries due to Anesthesia Medical Malpractice
While the mistakes an anesthesiologist may make are subtle, the injuries sustained can be life altering or even fatal including:
- Heart attack
- Brain injury
- A collapsed lung
- Ulnar neuropathy
Anesthesia Medical Malpractice Statistics
If people were aware of the staggering statistics related to anesthesia medical malpractice, many might opt out of an elective, surgical procedure. The following statistics from National Practitioner Data Bank’s 2002 Annual Report paint a clear picture of just how dangerous and costly an anesthesiologist’s negligence can be:
- The average payment to victims of anesthesia medical malpractice related cases in 2002 was $150,000
- From 1990-2002, nearly 6,000 anesthesia medical malpractice cases were settled, averaging $245,935 per case.
- In 2002 alone, 467 medical malpractice payments were made due to anesthesia malpractice
Determining Anesthesia Medical Malpractice
If you believe you or a loved one has been the victim of anesthesia medical malpractice, it is essential that you secure and preserve all records related to the procedure. While proving negligence is difficult, the lawyers at The Cochran Firm have the experience and resources available to help you obtain your full financial compensation, including payment for:
- Medical bills
- Long term care
- Mental impairment
- Permanent disability
- Diminished future earning capacity
- Loss of wages
Learn more by reading our Questions About Anesthesia Medical Malpractice.
Proving an anesthesiologist’s negligence can be a long and arduous process. It is essential that you contact the experienced and knowledgeable medical malpractice attorneys at The Cochran Firm, with offices in numerous states across the country including Manhattan and New Orleans.