Medical procedures – especially surgery – typically call for anesthesia. This not only helps put the patient to sleep so they do not feel the procedure, but it also prevents them from seeing the surgery or moving during the procedure. Unfortunately, anesthetics are often very powerful drugs, and handling them requires attention and care to keep the patient safe and healthy during the procedure.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or negative health effects due to improperly administered anesthesia, talk to the Arlington, TX anesthesia malpractice lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm. Our anesthesia injury and death attorneys represent victims and their families in lawsuits against negligent anesthesiologists and medical staff that cause serious injuries or death through negligent anesthesia administration. For your free legal consultation, call our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.
Causes of Injury and Death from Improper Anesthesia
Anesthesia puts patients to sleep, keeps them mostly immobile, and helps numb any sensation of pain they might feel during surgery. If you were to undergo surgery without anesthesia, it would be extremely painful and could put your body into shock, causing potential damage to your heart and other organs. If you are not under anesthesia, you may also move or roll during surgery, potentially interfering with the surgery and causing damage. Lastly, being awake during the procedure would be extremely traumatic to witness. Interference with these goals – keeping a patient immobile, unconscious, and pain-free – are some of the typical causes of anesthesia malpractice.
While a patient should be unconscious from anesthesia, they should not be given enough drugs to put them in danger. Anesthesiologists should administer enough anesthesia to keep the patient under, but not enough to dangerously lower their heart rate or make it impossible to bring the patient back up after surgery. The anesthesia must also be enough to ensure the patient stays asleep throughout the procedure. Administering too little anesthesia could mean the patient wakes up during surgery, potentially witnessing or feeling the surgical procedure.
Patients sometimes undergo local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia. With local anesthesia, you are typically awake, but you should still be numb to feeling the procedure or any pain in the local area. If the doctor does not use enough anesthesia, you could feel the procedure through the numbness and suffer unnecessary pain and injury.
Improper anesthesia administration could also result in numbness in the extremities and other injuries. If the drugs were too powerful, they may produce prolonged or permanent numbness. When a patient is unconscious, the anesthesiologist also needs to ensure that the patient still receives oxygen with a mask or breathing tube. Failing to ensure proper flow of oxygen could cause hypoxia (lack of oxygen), brain damage, or even death.
Suing for Anesthesia Injuries in Texas
If you suffered injuries or negative health effects because of improper anesthesia use, you could be entitled to sue the anesthesiologist, doctor, nurse anesthetist, or other medical professional that failed to give you adequate care. These kinds of medical malpractice lawsuits are often complex and are best handled with the help of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
To sue for malpractice involving anesthesia, you typically need to prove that the doctor’s care fell below the reasonable standard of care that other doctors with similar training would have held to. This typically means that your lawyer will use a medical expert to testify in your case as to what mistakes or errors the doctor in your case made and what they should have done differently to help prevent your injuries. If your attorney and your expert can convince the jury that your doctor was negligent, the jury can award damages for any harms you suffered from the negligence.
With some anesthesia injuries, additional medical care is necessary to help restore your health or undo the dangerous effects of the drugs. In any case, you may at least face additional hospitalization for observation. The cost of this medical care can be expensive, and filing a lawsuit should entitle you to recover compensation for these costs. Moreover, if the injuries or medical care kept you from returning to work, you can also claim damages for lost wages.
Many anesthesia injury cases result in serious physical pain and discomfort as well as mental suffering for the patient. These experiences cannot be easily valued, but you can still seek compensation for the pain and suffering you face from medical negligence. These “non-economic” damages are capped in Texas malpractice lawsuits, allowing you to claim a maximum of $250,000 against each physician or hospital and $500,000 maximum in cases against multiple care providers.
If a loved one was killed because of negligent use of anesthesia or improper administration, you could be entitled to substantial damages for your loss. The cost of their funeral and burial expenses should be covered in any wrongful death lawsuit, but you could also be entitled to claim other damages to continue to support your family. If the deceased provided income for your family, you may be entitled to recover damages for their lost income as well as lost inheritances, investments, and other economic damages. You can also seek damages for the harms you suffered because of their loss, such as lost companionship, lost counsel, lost household services, and other damages related to the death.
Call Our Arlington Anesthesia Death and Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If you suffered serious injuries because of your doctor’s negligence in administering anesthesia during a medical procedure, you could be entitled to damages for the harms you faced. Similarly, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against your care provider if a loved one was killed by medical malpractice involving anesthesia. For a free legal consultation on your case, call the Arlington anesthesia malpractice injury and death attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm today at (817) 476-1797.