It may be difficult to realize that anesthesia has only been in use since the middle of the 19th century. For all the centuries before, humans endured surgeries, both on and off of the battlefield, without the relief of being unconscious during surgery. Those were the days when the expression “bite the bullet” was not a metaphor.
Nowadays, we not only rely on anesthesia to get us through some of our worst moments; we count on the safety of the procedures and medications that enable us to do so. Most of all, we depend on the medical professionals in charge to keep us out of harm’s way when we are under anesthesia, when, according to Scientific American, we are actually in a reversible coma rather than “asleep.”
Unfortunately, anesthesia errors, though relatively rare, do occur and often have dire consequences. If you have been seriously harmed because of an anesthesia error, you may very well have a viable medical malpractice case. If your family has been through the trauma of losing a loved one due to an anesthesia error, you may be able to sue successfully for wrongful death. In either case, if you live in Nashville or the surrounding area, you should bring your concerns to Cummings Law, a medical malpractice law firm with extensive experience involving anesthesia mistakes.
Types of Anesthesia Errors
Administering anesthesia is a delicate task that requires training and concentration. Simply put, too much anesthesia can result in asphyxia, a cardiovascular episode, brain damage, or death. If the patient does not die, he or she may suffer paralysis, cognitive impairment, or another long-term disability.
Too little anesthesia, on the other hand, can result in the horror of a patient awakening and/or experiencing pain during the surgical procedure. Incorrect dosage is, therefore, a primary kind of anesthesia error that may result in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Other anesthesia errors include:
- Failing to instruct patients in presurgical preparation, such as fasting
- Not administering anesthesia properly or in time
- Administering oxygen improperly
- Neglecting to monitor the patient or equipment during the procedure
- Failing to recognize patient distress promptly
- Failing to intubate or intubating improperly
- Being impaired by alcohol or drugs while administering anesthesia
- Administering a medication that interferes with anesthesia
- Using defective anesthesia equipment
- Turning off, or not heeding, equipment alarms
- Using substances or instruments to which the patient is (should be) known to be allergic
Serious Injuries Caused by Anesthesia Error
The above mistakes, whether caused by carelessness, substance abuse, inattention, poor training or recklessness, may result in serious, and often permanent, harm, including:
- Tracheal damage
- Heart attack or stroke
- Birth defects
- Loss of neuromuscular function
- Brain damage
- Spinal cord injury
As an innocent patient who has entrusted medical professionals with your care, you are on the right side of the law. Brian Cummings will discuss your case with you, file a medical malpractice lawsuit on your behalf, and there is no fee unless he wins your case via a settlement or at trial.
Damages You Can Expect To Receive If We Win
Brian Cummings is an excellent medical malpractice attorney who has won millions of dollars in damages for his clients. He will work very hard to see that you receive compensation for both economic and non-economic losses, such as:
- Medical costs and rehabilitative care
- Lost income: past and future
- Physical pain
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Disability or disfigurement
In rare cases, when the anesthesia error resulted from substance abuse while operating or some other criminal or depraved act, we may also win punitive damages (extra damages designed to punish and deter the most egregious types of wrongful conduct).
Should you sue for a “mistake”?
Some patients are reluctant to sue a doctor or medical establishment since there is almost never intentional misconduct involved in an anesthesia error. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that the medical establishment is held to a higher “duty of care” than the rest of us. They literally have our lives in their hands so they are expected to “first, do no harm” as stated in the Hippocratic Oath. The rest of us are expected to be held responsible for our professional mistakes, and health care providers are no different.
Sure they get tired, pressured, sick, upset, and forgetful like the rest of us. But it is their responsibility to step aside if they feel unstable or unprepared, make sure all assisting personnel are at the top of their game, and check that all equipment is up to par. You should never have to pay for their anesthesia mistakes with your money, your health, your ability to function or the loss of someone dear to you. This is why medical malpractice attorneys exist – to fight for you when health care providers make significant mistakes that change your life forever, and no one is willing to take responsibility for that mistake.
Contact Our Nashville Anesthesia Error Attorney
If a medical professional causes you lasting damage from an anesthesia mistake, you need a talented medical malpractice attorney who is familiar with anesthesia errors at your side. Brian Cummings has worked for over 20 years handling medical malpractice cases, including helping clients who have had to come to terms with injuries and disabilities resulting from careless anesthesia administration. Not only is he a clever negotiator and aggressive litigator, but he is also an empathic person, dedicated to making certain you receive full compensation for all you have been through and continue to endure. Contact us today for a consultation.