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Anesthesia Errors

Kansas City Anesthesia Error Attorney

Handling Anesthesia Error Claims in Missouri

Anesthesia errors can have devastating consequences for patients, often resulting in serious injury or even death. At Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman, CHTD, we understand the importance of holding medical professionals accountable for their mistakes.

Our experienced team of personal injury attorneys has a proven track record of successfully representing clients who have suffered from anesthesia errors. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to thoroughly investigate your case and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Call (816) 542-5999 or contact us online today to request a free case review for your anesthesia error case.

Common Types of Anesthesia Errors

An anesthesia error refers to a medical mistake or oversight that occurs during the administration of anesthesia to a patient before, during, or after a surgical procedure or medical intervention. Anesthesia is used to induce a state of unconsciousness, numbness, and pain relief, allowing patients to undergo surgery or certain medical procedures without feeling pain or discomfort. These errors can lead to a range of complications, including brain damage, heart attack, stroke, and even death.

Common causes of anesthesia errors include:

  • Incorrect Dosage: Administering too much or too little anesthesia can lead to complications. Too much anesthesia can cause overdose, resulting in respiratory depression or cardiac arrest. Conversely, too little anesthesia may result in a patient waking up during surgery or experiencing inadequate pain relief.
  • Medication Errors: Anesthesia involves the use of various drugs and medications. Errors can occur in the preparation, mixing, or administration of these drugs. In some cases, the wrong drug may be administered, or the drugs may be administered in the incorrect order.
  • Failure to Monitor Vital Signs: Proper monitoring of a patient's vital signs (such as heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and carbon dioxide levels) during surgery is crucial. Failure to do so can lead to undetected complications or adverse reactions to anesthesia.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some patients may be allergic to specific anesthesia drugs or their components. Failure to identify and account for such allergies can result in severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis.
  • Equipment Malfunctions: Anesthesia equipment, such as ventilators and monitoring devices, must be in proper working condition. Malfunctions or equipment failure can lead to adverse events, such as inadequate oxygen delivery.
  • Inadequate Preoperative Assessment: A thorough preoperative evaluation of the patient's medical history, current health status, and any underlying conditions is essential. Failure to identify and assess relevant risk factors can contribute to anesthesia errors.
  • Inadequate Communication: Effective communication among the anesthesia team, surgeons, nurses, and the patient is critical to ensuring patient safety. Miscommunication or incomplete information sharing can lead to errors.
  • Inexperience or Fatigue: Anesthesia providers must be well-trained, experienced, and alert during procedures. Fatigue, inexperience, or overwork can lead to mistakes.
  • Patient Factors: Some patients may have unique physiological responses to anesthesia due to factors such as age, underlying medical conditions, or obesity. Failure to consider these factors in anesthesia planning can lead to complications.
  • Inadequate Postoperative Care: The management of a patient's recovery after surgery is just as important as the administration of anesthesia. Neglecting proper postoperative care can lead to complications and delayed recovery.

Common Injuries Due to Anesthesia Errors

Common injuries or complications that can result from anesthesia errors include:

  • Allergic reactions to anesthesia drugs
  • Anesthesia awareness (consciousness during surgery)
  • Nerve damage
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Brain damage
  • Cardiac issues
  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Post-operative confusion or memory problems

How Do You Prove Anesthesia Malpractice?

Proving anesthesia malpractice typically involves demonstrating the following elements:

  • Establishing a doctor-patient relationship existed.
  • Proving that the anesthesia provider breached the standard of care, which involves demonstrating that they acted negligently or made a preventable error.
  • Demonstrating that the breach of the standard of care directly caused the injury or harm.
  • Providing evidence of the damages incurred as a result of the anesthesia error, such as medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of income.

Expert testimony from a qualified anesthesiologist or medical expert is often crucial in proving that the standard of care was not met.

Can You Sue if Anesthesia Goes Wrong?

Yes, you can potentially sue for medical malpractice if you believe that anesthesia errors have caused harm. Anesthesia errors can lead to serious complications, and if it can be proven that a medical professional's negligence or incompetence caused the harm, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim.

Who is Liable for an Anesthesia Error?

When an anesthesia error occurs, several parties may potentially be held liable for the error, depending on the specific circumstances and the underlying causes of the mistake. Liability in such cases can be complex, and multiple parties may share responsibility.

Here are the primary parties who can be held liable for an anesthesia error:

  • Anesthesia Provider:
    • Anesthesiologist: Anesthesiologists are medical doctors who specialize in administering anesthesia and managing patients' vital signs during surgery or medical procedures. They are typically the primary anesthesia providers and are responsible for ensuring the safe administration of anesthesia. Anesthesiologists can be held liable if they make errors in dosage, medication administration, monitoring, or other aspects of anesthesia care.
    • Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs): Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are advanced practice nurses trained in anesthesia care. They may also be responsible for administering anesthesia and monitoring patients. CRNAs can be held liable for errors in their practice, including dosage errors and monitoring lapses.
  • Surgeon: While surgeons are not typically responsible for administering anesthesia, they play a role in patient care and safety during surgery. Surgeons can be held liable if their actions or decisions contribute to anesthesia-related errors or complications.
  • Hospital or Healthcare Facility: Hospitals and healthcare facilities have a duty to ensure patient safety and provide adequate training and equipment for anesthesia providers. If a hospital fails to maintain appropriate standards, lacks proper equipment, or inadequately supervises its staff, it may be held liable for anesthesia errors that occur on its premises.
  • Pharmaceutical Companies: In cases where anesthesia drugs or medications are involved, pharmaceutical companies may be held liable if the drugs were defective or if they failed to provide sufficient warnings about potential risks and side effects.
  • Medical Device Manufacturers: Anesthesia equipment, such as ventilators, monitoring devices, and infusion pumps, must be in proper working condition to ensure patient safety. If equipment malfunctions or defects contribute to an anesthesia error, the manufacturer of the faulty equipment may be held liable.
  • Other Healthcare Providers: Depending on the circumstances, other healthcare providers involved in the patient's care, such as nurses, technicians, or support staff, may also share liability if their actions or negligence contribute to the error.

Additionally, if patients were not adequately informed about the risks and benefits of anesthesia and the procedure, they may have a legal basis for filing a lawsuit against the healthcare providers involved, alleging lack of informed consent.

How Long Do You Have to File an Anesthesia Malpractice Claim?

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims, including anesthesia malpractice, varies by jurisdiction. In Missouri, a patient must file their medical malpractice claim within two years from the date of the alleged malpractice or from the date when the injury was discovered or should have been discovered through reasonable diligence. It's essential to consult with a Kansas City anesthesia error attorney as soon as possible after the injury occurs, as there may be specific deadlines that must be met to file a lawsuit.

    Why Choose Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman, CHTD?

    At Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman, CHTD, we are dedicated to helping our clients achieve justice and obtain the compensation they deserve. We are experienced in handling complex medical malpractice cases, including those involving anesthesia errors.

    Our Kansas City anesthesia error attorneys work closely with medical experts to build a strong case on your behalf. We will investigate your case thoroughly, review medical records, and consult with specialists to determine the extent of your injuries and the long-term effects they will have on your life. Our team is committed to fighting for your rights and helping you obtain the compensation you deserve.

    If you or a loved one has suffered from an anesthesia error in Kansas City, contact us today at (816) 542-5999. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and determine the best course of action for you.


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