Houston Anesthesia Malpractice Injury + Death Attorney
Anesthesia is vital to modern medicine. Without anesthesia to keep the patient asleep and numb, surgery would do more harm than good. Unfortunately for a small number of individuals, surgery is extremely painful anyway. Errors with anesthesia could allow a patient to feel the surgery, stop a patient from regaining consciousness, or even outright kill them.
If you or a loved one suffered from errors and mistakes with their anesthesia while undergoing a surgical procedure, talk to an attorney right away. Texas law permits victims of medical malpractice involving anesthesia and surgical errors to sue their doctor or another healthcare provider for damages, but there is a limited window to file your claim. Call The Queenan Law Firm immediately to schedule a free consultation to help you understand your potential claim and get your case filed as quickly as possible. To set up your free consultation, call us today at (817) 774-9627.
Common Medical Malpractice Issues Involving Anesthesia
The science of administering anesthesia typically needs to be precise. An anesthesiologist, nurse anesthetist, or other healthcare provider administering anesthesia needs to give you the proper dosage of the appropriate drugs to help keep you numb and protect you from the effects of surgery without going too far and causing you harm. These drugs are often very powerful, and any errors in judgement or unnecessary complications could lead to serious harm if the doctor provides you with negligent care.
Anesthesia can come in the form of “local anesthesia” to numb a particular area of the body or as “general anesthesia” to put the patient to sleep and numb them to all sensations. The drugs used may be different, but the goals of using either type of anesthesia are to ensure that you do not move around during surgery and to protect you from the feeling of the operation or procedure. If drugs are improperly administered, you could face serious complications.
One of the most common complications is unnecessary numbness. If the drugs used are too strong or too high of a dosage is administered, you may face numbness for a long time after the surgery. In some cases, you may not notice that the numbness was caused by other issues, such as positioning injuries or nerve damage, rather than the anesthesia.
If general anesthesia is administered in too strong of a dose or for too long, the patient could face permanent injuries. It may be difficult to rouse a patient after surgery, potentially causing brain damage from a lack of oxygen or requiring respirators and life support to keep the patient alive. This could result in a vegetative state or, if the anesthesia was far too strong, kill the patient.
In other cases, the anesthesia is not enough. With local or general anesthesia, a patient may still feel the procedure if the dosage is not high enough. This is especially common for patients with a history of drug use, and the anesthesiologist should adjust accordingly.
In some cases, general anesthesia may not be strong enough, and a patient may wake up during surgery. If they are fully awake, they may be able to see and feel the procedure, likely traumatizing them and interfering with the procedure, potentially causing additional health issues. In other cases, the patient may feel the procedure but be paralyzed by the drugs, unable to call for help. This can similarly be extremely traumatizing and, though this is rare, could lead to substantial damages.
Suing for Anesthesia Malpractice in Texas
Medical malpractice refers to medical care that falls below the reasonable standard of care that your doctor owed you. With anesthesia malpractice, this typically means that the care you received was not up to the standards that other doctors in the community would hold themselves to and that this negligent care led to your injuries and complications.
Proving Anesthesia Errors
To prove malpractice, you typically must use a medical expert in your lawsuit to explain the standard of care to the jury. This gives the jury a reference point as to what kind of care you should have received so that it becomes easier to prove what your physician did wrong. In some cases, pure accidents happen, but many anesthesia problems can be attributed to an anesthesiologist’s errors.
Statute of Limitations
Texas law puts a strict time limit on filing medical malpractice lawsuits. In general, you have only 2 years to file your claim if you suffered negligent healthcare. In most cases, this 2-year clock starts running when your treatment is completed, i.e., the day you leave the hospital. This gives you time to finish recovering from the surgeries and the effects of the anesthesia errors before you must get your case to court. Note that this deadline is only a deadline to file your case. You do not need to take your case to trial and finish the lawsuit within 2 years – you simply need to file it with the court and serve the defendant with notice of the case against them to meet the deadline.
Call Our Houston Anesthesia Injury and Wrongful Death Lawyers for a Free Legal Consultation
If you or a loved one suffered from negligent medical care involving anesthesia, contact The Queenan Law Firm’s Houston, Texas anesthesia malpractice injury and death attorneys today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing injury victims and their families and fighting to get them the compensation they deserve from negligent doctors and other responsible parties. For a free legal consultation on your case, contact our lawyers today at (817) 774-9627.