Anesthesia Errors and Medical Malpractice
A patient entrusts his or her care to a team of medical professionals, which can include doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and others. When that care harms instead of helps the patient, it may be that a medical error was made and that medical malpractice has occurred. If the error is related to the delivery of anesthesia, it can be considered an anesthesia error.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to an anesthesia error, improper treatment or lack of treatment, you may have grounds for a Dallas medical malpractice lawsuit. To pursue the settlement you and your family deserve, it is vital that you consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP has successfully represented Texas medical malpractice victims for over 25 years. Call us today at (214) 231-0544 to schedule a free consultation.
Error by the Anesthesiologist
Anesthesia errors are some of the most devastating medical errors that can be made by a health care professional. Anesthesia errors can occur in the most routine of surgeries, and have tragic results. Even a small error by the anesthesiologist can result in permanent injury, brain damage, or even death. A Columbia University study estimated that, on average, roughly 300 anesthesia related deaths occur each year in the United States. A separate study found that 82 percent of anesthesia complications were the direct result of human error. In fact, an anesthesiologist can commit medical malpractice before they have even administered any drugs. This could be by:
- Not investigating the patient’s medical history for possible complications.
- Not informing the patient of the risks involved if preoperative instructions are not followed (such as not drinking or eating for a certain period prior to surgery).
Surgical Anesthesia Errors in Dallas
Any error during a surgery can have devastating results. Here are the most common surgical anesthesia errors:
- Administering too much anesthesia to the patient
- Failing to monitor a patient’s vital signs
- Not properly intubating patients (putting a tube in the trachea to assist with breathing)
- The use of defective equipment
- Not enough anesthesia to keep the patient sedated
- Overdose of anesthesia
- Failure to properly administer oxygen
If you or a family member has suffered injury or death due to anesthesia error, you may pursue compensation for you or your loved one’s injuries.
Proving Medical Malpractice
To prove medical malpractice, it is necessary that an injured party prove that the healthcare provider did not meet the standard of care. This means that the injured party will need to have evidence of what other similar medical professionals would or would not have done that their caregiver did not or did do. Such evidence is known as expert testimony and will be essential to the claim that the anesthesia doctor did not perform as he or she should have.
Bringing An Action for Medical Malpractice
In Texas, injured individuals have two years from the date of injury (sometimes longer if the injury is not known right away but in no event longer than 10 years from the date of injury) to bring an action. The first step is to file what is known as a Notice of Filing Suit, which must be served on all the defendants together with a Release of Protected Health Information form at least 60 days before the suit is filed. Then, within 120 days of filing suit, the injured party is required to provide the defendants with reports from their experts detailing their opinions on how the injured party’s care failed to meet the standard of care.
Recovery in a Texas medical malpractice case arising out of anesthesia error is further limited with respect to non-economic damages. There is a cap, or top limit that can be awarded for intangibles such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, stress, anxiety, loss of life’s enjoyment, and others. Under Texas law, that maximum amount is $250,000.00 for physicians and providers and an additional $250,000.00 for one healthcare institution or $500,000.00 if more than one healthcare institution is involved. This means there is a potential total sum of $750,000.00 for a patient who received improper or insufficient care from multiple doctors or institutions to cover their non-economic damages.
Does Signing A Waiver Waive My Claim?
Many individuals sign a “consent” for treatment that permits their medical providers to deliver medical care. Some refer to this as a “waiver.” However, the signing of such a document cannot be used to refute a claim for medical malpractice. A patient only agrees to allow his or her doctors to perform medical treatment according to the generally accepted standard of care by signing such a form, not to allow them to mistreat him or her.
Contact our Dallas, TX Anesthesia Error Lawyers Today
Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complicated and can take a long time to be resolved. To get the compensation you and your family need, it is important that you are represented by an experienced Dallas personal injury attorney. Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP has fought for the rights of medical malpractice victims for over 25 years.