Anesthesia Errors in Medical Malpractice

When a patient is harmed during a medical procedure, that harm often occurs because the patient was improperly prepared by the anesthesiologist. Medical malpractice related to anesthesia occurs when complications arise as a result of the anesthesiologist’s negligence. The costs to the patient’s health can be incredibly high: according to the 2012 National Practitioner Data Bank Annual Report, the average malpractice payment related to anesthesia was $239,000 in 2012.

The list of anesthesia-related complications is long, and the effects can vary greatly from person to person. If you or a loved one recently experienced complications during or after a surgery, and you believe the anesthesia may be to blame, then you need to talk with one of the Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys we have at Golomb & Honik. We have had a great deal of success over many years with medical malpractice cases, and want to help you receive the settlement or judgment that you deserve. To find out whether you have a case, call us at 215-278-4449 to schedule a free consultation.

Liability in Medical Malpractice

In order to prove medical malpractice, an attorney must prove that a doctor committed errors due to negligence or incompetence, and that the patient suffered harm as a result of those errors. But often, the negligence or incompetence goes beyond a single doctor.

Other entities who may be fully or partially responsible for patient harm include:

  • The hospital where the procedure took place
  • The manufacturers of defective equipment or medication
  • Medical contractors hired by the hospital who participated in the procedure

When we receive your case, one of the first things our medical malpractice attorneys do is determine who is responsible under the law for any harm you received under their care. We investigate the nature of the employment relationship between the doctor and the hospital, the schedules for testing and replacing equipment, and the responsibilities assumed by outside contractors to learn with whom the legal liability exists.

Anesthesia-related Errors

There is no “common dose” of anesthesia. A major part of any anesthesiologist’s job is to determine the proper amount of anesthesia to give each patient, taking into account the patient’s weight, age, medical history, allergies, and previous responsiveness to anesthesia. The anesthesiologist is also responsible for informing all patients prior to the procedure whether they can eat, any medications they should or should not take beforehand, and what they need to disclose about their medical histories.

If they fail to thoroughly examine a patient’s medical history, or if they fail to inform the patient of the risks involved in not following the doctor’s instructions, anesthesiologists could potentially commit medical malpractice before the procedure even begins. Medical malpractice during the procedure can happen if the patient receives too much or too little anesthesia, if the patient is improperly intubated, or if the anesthesiologist fails to properly monitor the patient’s vital signs or spot potential complications. In medical malpractice cases, attorneys use a medical expert to go over the anesthesiologist’s work and determine if everything was done properly.

Proving Anesthesia-Related Malpractice

In order to prove that surgical complications arose as a result of the anesthesiologist’s negligence or incompetence, the medical malpractice attorneys at Golomb & Honik will draw on our decades of experience with malpractice cases. We will look at medical reports and call expert witnesses to determine the facts.

Some of the questions we will investigate include:

  • Did the anesthesiologist follow all the procedures correctly?
  • Was equipment tested to ensure it was in good working order?
  • Did the anesthesiologist take the patient’s medical history into account?
  • Were there any known issues with the medication the anesthesiologist used?
  • If any of the above is true, did it directly contribute to harming the patient?

If you are unsure of the answers to any of these questions, then Golomb & Honik can help you find them. Our lawyers have a proven history of receiving large settlements and rulings from medical malpractice, and we approach every case planning to repeat those results. If you live in the Philadelphia area and you have questions about your case, then call our Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at 215-278-4449. We offer a free initial consultation to all clients.