Anesthesia Malpractice in Miami

You are here: Home » Anesthesia Malpractice in Miami

Confronting a doctor or other medical professional, including anesthesiologists, can be very daunting. These are the people who are entrusted to cure the sick and aid the injured. When one of these professionals makes a mistake that causes bodily harm, it becomes necessary for that physician to face consequences for anesthesia malpractice in Miami. It is difficult to prove anesthesia malpractice, but the with the assistance of a qualified Miami injury lawyer, these medical professionals will be brought to justice. No one should suffer through medical or anesthesia malpractice, and hiring a lawyer is one of the top ways to resolve this matter.

Anesthesia Malpractice Cases Examples

Anesthesiologists are responsible for preparing a patient for surgery, maintaining the medication and safety of that patient throughout the procedure and attending to the patient once he or she is reading to leave the operating or recovery room. When anesthesiologists and other medical professionals do not monitor and care for patients correctly, they are negligent.

In order for there to be a legitimate claim of anesthesia malpractice, the medical professionals must be shown to have administered the medication incorrectly, failed to monitor the patient effectively or missed complications as they are developing. In such instances, the patients or their families can file an anesthesia malpractice in Miami lawsuit.

Anesthesia Overdose

A patient who receives an overdose of anesthesia can experience very serious complications. Those who are elderly, small in stature or already seriously ill are most likely to fall victim to an anesthesia overdose; however, nearly anyone can be affected.

An overdose can occur with any of the following errors by the medical professional:

  • Providing too much anesthetic
  • Injecting the anesthetic either too fast or too slow
  • Selecting the incorrect anesthetic for the individual patient or procedure
  • Failing to monitor the equipment and patient
  • Managing the gas flow incorrectly
  • Applying inappropriate ventilation
  • Combining incompatible drugs

When a patient experiences an overdose of anesthesia, his or her blood pressure declines rapidly. Without quick thinking and action, that patient is likely to experience serious injury or even death.

Anesthesia Awareness

Another possibility is anesthesia awareness. Approximately one or two patients of every 10,000 becomes partially awake during a surgery despite being administered anesthesia. In these instances, that patient may or may not also experience pain. However, the muscle relaxants provided to these aware patients prior to the anesthesia makes it impossible for them to move or speak to let the medical team know that they are not properly under anesthesia. This is an extremely traumatic experience for patience, often leading to long-term psychological effects.

Anesthesia Complications During Surgery

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Temporary mental confusion or delirium
  • Temporary blurred vision
  • Dental damage, sore throat or damage to the larynx from the breathing tube (intubation)
  • Anesthesia allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
  • Respiratory problems
  • Pneumonia
  • Brain damage as a result of loss of oxygen
  • Stroke or heart attack
  • Nerve, artery or vein injury
  • Blood clots

Incorrect Anesthesia Drug Administration

Because anesthetics lower the patient’s blood pressure quickly, it can be difficult to predict how each patient will react to the treatment. For this reason, the professional administering the drug must carefully monitor the patient for adverse changes or reactions. When not enough of the drug has been given, the patient will wake up too quickly, experience faster heartbeats or higher blood pressure or be at risk for a permanent injury. When too much of the drug has been administered, the patient’s blood pressure can drop too quickly, causing organs to shut down. Both of these instances can produce serious injuries and even death.

Damages Related with Anesthesia Allergy

Some patients experience an allergic reaction to anesthesia. An allergy is the body’s response to a foreign substance, and receiving anesthesia is no exception. Although anesthetic allergies are uncommon, the reaction is generally severe.

The most serious allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, a term for when the patient’s air passages close and he or she is unable to breath. In this instance, the brain and heart are severely affected, and the patient’s mouth and face may begin to swell. When a patient is under general anesthesia, he or she is unable to indicate this difficulty breathing, so the anesthesiologist or other medical professional involved must carefully monitor the patient’s blood pressure and oxygenation.

Personal Injuries Due to Anesthesia Errors

There are a variety of situations that can cause personal injuries to patients undergoing procedures that require anesthesia. The vast majority of these could be prevented with careful preparation and monitoring throughout, leading to cases of anesthesia malpractice in Miami.

  • Brain Damage from Anesthesia: Patients who are given too much anesthesia or who are not carefully monitored for complications can suffer irreversible brain and cardiovascular damage. When an anesthesia overdose occurs, the patient often has trouble breathing, reducing the amount of oxygen traveling to his or her heart and brain. When the patient does not have enough oxygen, those organs become damaged and start to shut down.
  • Death from Anesthesia: Most of the time, patients who pass away have just endured too much trauma to their vital organs and vessels. Even if they survive the lack of oxygen and resuscitation efforts, many times the damage is just too great and their bodies cannot sustain them.
  • Coma After Anesthesia: When the brain does not have enough oxygen, or enough blood from the damaged heart, it begins to deteriorate. Even if the heart is still beating, many of these brains are non-functioning. Patients often slip into a coma, unable to respond to physicians’ attempts to revive them or improve their condition.
  • Paralysis: These comas, as well as extended periods of time without oxygen properly traveling the body, can lead to irreversible paralysis.
  • Cardiovascular Problems: The two main organs that are affected are the heart and the brain. Without oxygen, the cardiovascular vessels begin to retract and close themselves off, reducing blood flow throughout the body. This can lead to fatal blood clots, heart attacks and strokes. Patients eventually go into cardiac arrest, and the extended time without proper oxygenation typically means that physicians are unable to resuscitate them. Even if the patient does not die, there is often irreparable damage done to the heart and the surrounding blood vessels.

Anesthesia Malpractice Statistics

About 300 anesthesia-related deaths occur each year in addition to other damage caused by the drug administration. Injuries and deaths stemming from anesthesia malpractice errors are typically the result of respiratory issues, accounting for approximately 45 percent of cases.

Anesthesia Deaths per Year

Of these deaths, the data can be divided into the following categories:

  • About 47 percent were caused by an overdose of anesthesia
  • About 43 percent were the result of anesthetic reactions and allergies
  • About 4 percent occurred during pregnancy or labor
  • The rest were due to other medical complications

The risk of an anesthesia-related death is almost twice as high for men as for women, and elderly patients have the highest risk of all. In addition, most anesthesia-related deaths occur in outpatient situations rather than in surgical hospitals.

Lawsuit Against Anesthesia Malpractice in Miami

If a hospital or medical professional has caused injury or death due to an anesthesia error, it is possible to file a malpractice lawsuit against that person or institution, especially with the aid of a Miami injury lawyer.

Liability for an Anesthesia Error

In order for this to occur, the lawyer must determine whether the professional or institution is guilty of medical negligence. This means that the acting medical team did not practice reasonable care when treating the patient or that the team did something wrong in its treatment. The profession itself, the resources available to the team and the actions taken or not taken all must be examined carefully.

In order to prove the negligence, the Miami injury lawyer will consider pre-surgical risk factors, the operative notes from the procedure itself and the outcomes to try to determine exactly what occurred. Medical witnesses will likely be consulted for their expert opinions.

A Medical Malpractice Lawyer Representing Your Case

If you think that you or someone you know has been involved in a potential malpractice situation, you need a Miami injury lawyer on your side to examine your unique situation and determine if there has been negligence in your care. Anesthesia malpractice in Miami is a serious issue, and you need a strong and competent lawyer on your side to guide you through the many possibilities and complications associated with the use of anesthesia. You do not have to suffer the effects of anesthesia errors in silence. Call a Miami injury lawyer today to get started on your case.