Ohio Anesthesia Error Lawyer | Kisling, Nestico & Redick
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If reckless or negligent behavior causes an error with your anesthesia, the results can be disastrous. KNR can help if you’ve been hurt due to a medical professional’s negligence.

Anesthesia Mistakes in Ohio

For any medical procedure, you need everything to go as planned. You need the best physicians and nurses on your team. You assume that having well-educated and experienced doctors will decrease the chance of anything going wrong. However, medical errors, including anesthesia mistakes, happen.

In fact, medical errors as a whole has become so common that researchers now cite them as the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

If you are injured because of a mistake made with anesthesia, you may have the right to recover compensation from the physician or hospital. Through an Ohio medical malpractice claim, you can show that a physician or another person on the medical staff committed an act or omission that resulted in harm or that the provider negligently hired, trained, or supervised the medical staff.

For more information about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, call Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW to schedule an initial consultation.

Anesthesia & Common Anesthesia Mistakes

There are four primary types of anesthesia used during surgery and other medical procedures: general anesthesia, regional anesthesia, sedation, and local anesthesia. Sometimes patients may choose which type of anesthesia will be used. In other cases, the procedure will require a certain type of anesthesia, or the medical professional will make the determination.

Your anesthesiologist or another provider should discuss the type of anesthesia and how it will be administered during your procedure.

  • A local anesthetic is used when only a small area of tissue is numbed, such as a portion of your mouth for a root canal.
  • Regional anesthesia is used when a larger portion of your body, usually a cluster of specific nerves, is anesthetized. This enables a portion of your body to be operated on while you are awake or sedated.
  • General anesthesia is used when you are made entirely unconscious and unaware of what is going on. This can be induced through medications or gasses.

While issues can arise with all types of anesthesia, general anesthesia is where mistakes often have the most significant consequences. And while you should be aware of your options and risks, anesthesia mistakes still occur and are commonly caused by:

Communication errors between physicians

Anesthesia is not only a complex science, some anesthesiologists consider it as a subjective craft. It takes understanding a number of factors about patients, including their gender, age, weight, allergies, and previous experiences with drugs to determine the appropriate medications and dosages. Without thorough communication between physicians, medical staff, and the anesthesiologist, mistakes are likely to be made.

Drug interactions

When an anesthesiologist must administer medications to a patient, it is crucial that they know what drugs the patient is already taking. Without this, the doctor may use a medication that could lead to a serious interaction or contradiction.

Failure to properly monitor

When a patient has been administered an anesthetic, they must be closely monitored. More medication will be necessary during a long procedure. Additionally, physicians must keep a close eye on how the patient is reacting to the anesthetic, including monitoring breathing and heart rate.

Failure to intubate when appropriate

Some patients need assistance breathing during a procedure that requires a general anesthetic. This requires intubation. However, anesthesiologists can fail to intubate a patient when necessary or can make a mistake during the process, causing the patient harm.

Incorrect dosage

Providing a patient with too much or too little anesthetic can cause serious medical issues and even death. When a person is in a medically induced unconscious state for too long, they can slip into a coma or suffer a brain injury. If a patient is not given enough medication throughout the procedure, they can regain consciousness and possibly feel yet not be able to speak or move. This is known as anesthesia awareness.

Improper training or certification

It is possible that a nurse or another technician will administer anesthesia after having been provided hands-on training but not actually have the proper education or certification.

Effects of an Anesthesia Error

When you have to go under for surgery, you take it for granted that an experienced anesthesiologist will be at the helm. Of all the things you worry over, being unconscious during the procedure is not usually one of them. However, your anesthesiologist, surgeon, nurse or other hospital staff can make mistakes or behave negligently when it comes to your anesthesia. An avoidable mistake can cause serious and irreparable harm.

The consequences of an anesthesia mistake will depend on the type of error, the procedure in question, and the subsequent response. The most common injuries caused by anesthesia errors include heart attack or stroke, spinal cord injuries, asphyxia, damage to the trachea, brain damage, coma, and death.

When Do Anesthesia Mistakes Occur?

As stated, there are different categories of anesthesia used at various times for different purposes:

Dangerous mistakes can happen during various times in the anesthesia process: before, during, and after. These errors can cause serious physical injuries if you stop breathing or mental injuries if you begin to wake up and feel or remember the procedure. It is also possible for mistakes to be made after the procedure when you are given medications to help you wake up.

Common Anesthesia Injuries

When someone makes an anesthesia error, the resulting injuries are often significant, including:

  • Pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Brain damage
  • Organ failure
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Coma
  • Anesthesia awareness
  • Death

Filing a Claim & Compensation for an Anesthesia Mistake

If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to an anesthesia mistake, you should speak with an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer from Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away. You might assume that you will file an insurance claim to obtain a settlement. However, almost all medical malpractice claims require filing a lawsuit to seek and negotiate an appropriate settlement that includes compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium

How an Attorney Can Help After an Anesthesia Error

Medical malpractice claims involving anesthesia can be legally complex, with large insurance companies and hospitals trying to downplay or deny any wrongdoing. That’s why it is important to have an attorney experienced in dealing with the medical industry on your side.

At KNR, we have considerable knowledge regarding anesthesia errors and extensive experience litigating these claims. Our attorneys will investigate to confirm that an anesthesia mistake occurred, review the records and medical reports to assign liability, and aggressively pursue maximum compensation by building the strongest possible case.

Anesthesia Error FAQs

Do Anesthesia Cases Have Time Limits?

Like other medical malpractice cases, under Ohio Rev. Code 2305.113, you only have one year to file a medical malpractice lawsuit for an anesthesia mistake (19 in the case of a minor). And while there are exceptions if injuries don’t appear until later, don’t wait because if a claim is not filed within 4 years of the procedure, you could lose your chance at receiving any compensation.

Who’s Responsible for An Anesthesia Error?

While errors can stem from any number of factors, negligence is often the root cause. In cases involving improper administration of anesthesia, various medical professionals or even hospital administrators can be at fault for subpar care. This includes the doctor or anesthesiologist, nurses in pre or post-op, and others with a duty to provide you with reasonable care.

When is an Anesthesia Error Considered Malpractice

Not all adverse medical outcomes are examples of medical malpractice, so it’s important that you consult an attorney to help you determine how to proceed if you suspect anesthesia caused you harm.

Generally, for anesthesia mistakes to be considered malpractice, you must prove that a medical professional failed to meet the accepted standard of care or behaved negligently and that their error caused your injury or harm.

What If I’m Not Sure If I’m the Victim of an Anesthesia Error?

If you suspect that a medical professional did not live up to their obligation to you in relation to receiving anesthesia, you should talk to an attorney Anesthesia error cases are complicated and require special medical knowledge. Your lawyer can explain your options, help secure an independent diagnosis, and guide your next steps.

Call KNR About a Possible Anesthesia Mistake

With offices all around Ohio, including Akron, Canton, Cincinnati Columbus, and Cleveland, we are more than prepared to handle your medical malpractice case. For more information about your rights after an anesthesia error or bringing a medical malpractice claim, contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick today. Call 1-800-HURT-NOW today and schedule a free consultation.