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Malpractice Liability for an Anesthesia Error

Nearly every dental or medical patient receives anesthesia at least once in his or her lifetime. And, although it is rare, you may find yourself asking: what happens if something goes wrong?

Anesthesia error is an unfortunate consequence of 0.73% of surgeries in United States hospitals, according to an analysis in the Southern Medical Journal performed over a seven-year period.

Read through the information below to determine whether you or a loved one may have a claim related to an anesthesia error. 

What Is Anesthesia Error? 

Anesthesia, as any substance or medical treatment that keeps a patient from feeling pain, can be administered through a mask, with a syringe or as a topical cream. General anesthetics are often breathed in through a mask before surgery, while regional anesthetics may be injected to numb a specific part or region of the patient’s body. Local anesthetics can be administered as patches, eye drops, sprays or lotions for temporary and targeted relief.

Anesthesia error refers to the unfortunate situation in which something went wrong with the administration or maintenance of the anesthetic substance or the care of the patient while under anesthesia. Side effects typically occur when anesthesia causes low blood pressure, an allergic reaction, or when too much or too little of the pain killing substance has been given. Having a side effect does not equate to an anesthesia error. The life-threatening cases of anesthesia error usually involve a general anesthetic given before surgery.

Do I Have a Claim?

Common side effects of anesthesia such as slightly low blood pressure or a headache when waking up from general anesthesia are to be expected and do not qualify as errors. If someone you know died, sustained injury or ended up with a life-altering disability after receiving anesthesia due to the following situations, you should seek legal counsel immediately:

  • The patient had a known history of an allergy to an anesthesia ingredient that was not considered before the procedure
  • The anesthesiologist calculated the patient’s weight incorrectly and overdosed the patient 
  •  The patient was not monitored correctly after going under general anesthesia
  • The intubation (placement of the breathing tube) was not properly positioned in the patient’s lungs or even worse – was inserted into the stomach.
  • The equipment used to administer anesthesia or monitor the patient was faulty

Get In Touch

GMFM Law has worked to prosecute North Carolinians’ claims  for the past 40 years and we continue this commitment by helping individuals and families who are experiencing hardships caused by injury, disability, death, discrimination or unfair treatment.

If you believe you have a case related to an anesthesia error, get in touch with us as soon as possible to schedule your consultation and case review.

You can tell us about your case via our online case review form or call us directly at (919) 683-2135 today!