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Anesthesia Error Lawyers in Virginia

When patients undergo certain medical procedures such as surgery, anesthesia plays a crucial role. Anesthesia should keep patients from feeling the pain of the procedure. However, anesthesia errors can occur. As a result of the error, a patient can suffer significant injuries such as brain damage.

A patient that has suffered an injury due to an anesthesia error can file a claim against the anesthesiologist or the hospital if the error was the result of medical malpractice. Pursuing the claim will require proving the liability of the anesthesiologist, hospital or both. You will need to present substantial evidence in order to back up your claim.

If you have been injured as a result of a suspected anesthesia error in Virginia, you should speak with a knowledgeable Virginia personal injury attorney at Lichtenstein Law Group PLC without delay. We can bring to your case more than 100 years of combined legal experience and a record of taking on the toughest cases – and winning. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

What Are Anesthesia Errors?

Anesthesia errors are a type of medical malpractice. While these errors can take many forms, the most common include:

  • Administering too much anesthesia, which can prevent the patient from waking up
  • Administering too little anesthesia, which can result in anesthesia awareness (where the patient can feel pain but cannot speak or communicate about it)
  • Delaying the delivery of anesthesia
  • Failing to recognize or prevent adverse reactions caused by the anesthesia interacting with other medications
  • Administering the wrong type of anesthesia such as using a medication which the patient is allergic to
  • Failing to provide the patient with proper instructions such as fasting before receiving the anesthesia
  • Failing to properly monitor a patient while the patient is under anesthesia
  • Using defective equipment or medical devices during the administration of anesthesia.

When patients suffer harm due to these or other types of anesthesia errors, they may be eligible to file a claim against the anesthesiologist and/or hospital.

Why Do Anesthesia Errors Happen?

Unfortunately, anesthesia errors occur for many different reasons. Often, they are due to a health care professional’s negligence. Some of the most common causes of anesthesia errors are:

  • Inattentive doctors – Administering anesthesia is an important job. Anesthesiologists must be aware at all times of the amount of medication being delivered to the patient, and they must monitor the patient at all times for signs of awareness. When anesthesiologists are inattentive during a procedure, an error is likely to occur.
  • Poor judgement – Anesthesiologists must also make many judgement calls when administering anesthesia. They must provide the appropriate dose for a patient’s weight and age, and they must use the appropriate type of anesthesia for the patient. When they fail to do so, it can result in an anesthesia error.
  • Failure to follow procedure – Anesthesiologists must follow certain standards and protocols when they administer anesthesia. For example, they must follow a specific process for administering the drug and for addressing issues which may arise such as the patient’s blood pressure rising to dangerous levels.
  • Miscommunication – Every health care professional in an operating room must communicate clearly and listen carefully in order to ensure that anesthesia errors do not occur. When they fail to do so, mistakes are bound to happen.
  • Understaffing – Hospitals are often understaffed. Without enough health care workers to properly monitor a patient or ensure the anesthesia is administered properly, serious and potentially fatal errors can occur.

At Lichtenstein Law Group PLC, we can conduct a thorough investigation of your case in order to determine why the anesthesia occurred and to identify who should be held responsible for the harm that you have suffered.

Who Can Be Liable for Anesthesia Errors?

Negligence in a medical malpractice claim refers to a medical professional’s failure to meet a reasonable standard of care when providing treatment to a patient. The review of a case involves determining whether a medical professional in the same field – for instance, an anesthesiologist – facing the same or similar circumstances would have acted in the same manner.

Generally, if a case involves an anesthesia error, the hospital may be subject to liability in addition to the anesthesiologist. The hospital could be liable if it employed the anesthesiologist. This is known as vicarious liability. In other words, employers can be held responsible for the actions or inactions of their employees. Additionally, if the anesthesia error was a result of defective equipment which the hospital failed to inspect or maintain, the hospital could be liable based on its own negligence.

How Do You Prove Negligence in an Anesthesia Error Case?

Proving that an anesthesiologist or hospital was negligent and that you suffered injuries as a result, can be stethoscope and a gavel to represent medical malpractice lawchallenging. You must first establish the duty of care that the anesthesiologist and/or hospital owed to you such as advising you of fasting requirements before a procedure. You must then prove that the anesthesiologist and/or hospital staff breached this duty of care and that you suffered injuries as a result of this breach.

Some common types of evidence in anesthesia error cases are:

  • Medical records – These records will show what happened before, during and immediately following your procedure.
  • Eyewitness testimony – Many people are in an operating room during a procedure. If one of these professionals witnessed the malpractice, they can describe what happened in a deposition or, perhaps, at trial.
  • Expert witness testimony – Our attorneys work with highly credible, recognized medical experts to analyze the facts, including those contained in medical records, and assess whether an anesthesiologist breached the recognized standard of care in your case.

Get Help from a Virginia Anesthesia Error Attorney Today

If you have suffered harm due to a suspected anesthesia error, you should speak with an experienced and dedicated Virginia medical malpractice attorney at Lichtenstein Law Group PLC as soon as possible. We are passionate about helping victims of anesthesia errors and helping them to pursue the compensation they deserve. Whether you are in Roanoke, Charlottesville, Norfolk or Richmond, we serve clients throughout Virginia. Contact us now for your free consultation and learn more about how we can assist you.