Anesthesia is commonly used in many medical procedures. It is administered in surgeries and other medical treatments to prevent the patient from feeling discomfort or pain during the procedure.
However, medication errors with anesthesia can cause serious harm to the patient. A Dallas medical malpractice attorney can help with an anesthesia injury claim.
What Types of Anesthesia Are Used in Medical Procedures?
There are several types of anesthesia that medical providers use. The types of anesthetics used fall into three categories:
Local anesthesia only impacts the nerve endings in the area where the anesthetic is administered. For example, dentists use local anesthesia when they work on a person’s tooth to prevent the patient from feeling pain.
Regional anesthesia impacts the nerve endings in an entire region of the body. An example of regional anesthesia is a block used for knee surgery that only impacts one leg. Another example of regional anesthesia is an epidural before delivering a baby.
General anesthesia combines a sedative with a paralyzing agent. The medications work together to block pain signals from the body to the brain and render you unconscious. General anesthesia is administered until the physician completes the medical procedure.
What Can Cause an Anesthesia Injury?
Common causes of anesthesia errors include, but are not limited to:
- Failure to monitor patients during and after administering anesthesia
- Allergic reaction to the anesthesia medication used
- Keeping a patient under anesthesia for too long
- Giving the incorrect dose of medication or the wrong type of anesthesia medication to the patient
- Delays in administering anesthesia
- Failing to obtain and/or review a complete patient medical history
- Failing to inspect and maintain anesthesia equipment
- Working under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Errors and mistakes using oxygen
- Being distracted during a general anesthesia procedure
- Defective medical equipment and/or malfunctions of medical equipment
- Mistakes while intubating a patient or failing to intubate a patient when necessary
The patient can sustain one or more injuries when an anesthesia mistake occurs. The injuries can result in medical malpractice lawsuits seeking compensation for damages.
Common Anesthesia Injuries Caused by Medical Negligence and Errors
Patients can sustain minor to traumatic injuries when medical professionals are negligent or make mistakes.
Common anesthesia injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Strokes and heart attacks
- Loss of bodily functions
- Wrongful death
- Damage to the trachea
- Spinal cord injuries
- Birth injuries and congenital disabilities
- Injuries caused by a lack of oxygen
If you sustained injuries or harm because of a mistake or error with anesthesia, you could be entitled to compensation for your damages. However, you have the burden of proving that the medical provider caused the anesthesia injury before you can recover any money in your medical malpractice case.
What Are the Symptoms and Signs of an Anesthesia Injury?
Anesthesia has side effects that many patients experience. For example, nausea and vomiting affect about a third of the people after surgery. It is most common during the first 24 hours after receiving anesthesia and is temporary.
However, other patients might experience symptoms of anesthesia injuries that go beyond common side effects.
Signs of an anesthesia injury include, but are not limited to:
- Neurologic complications from brain damage, including memory loss and cognitive dysfunction
- Strokes and seizures
- Heart attacks
- Nerve damage
- Paralysis or weakness
- Signs of organ damage
The symptoms of an anesthesia injury depend on the type of injury you sustained. Doctors should monitor patients closely after receiving anesthesia for signs of injuries or complications. If you experience any symptoms, report them to your physician immediately.
What Is My Anesthesia Injury Case Worth?
The value of your medical malpractice claim for an anesthesia injury depends on the circumstances of the case.
Factors that can impact how much an anesthesia error case is worth include, but are not limited to:
- The type of injury the anesthesia error causes
- The severity of your injury, including whether you sustain a permanent impairment or disability
- The duration of your recovery and the type of medical treatments you receive because of the mistake by a medical provider
- Whether you can return to work
- Whether you need ongoing medical treatment and long-term care
- How the anesthesia injury impacts your daily activities
- The amount of insurance coverage available for your claim
- The parties involved in your claim
Catastrophic and permanent injuries generally increase the value of a medical malpractice claim. Our lawyers will work to maximize the value of your damages to put as much money as possible in your pocket at the end of your case.
What Damages Can I Receive for an Anesthesia Injury in Texas?
An anesthesia injury can result in physical and emotional damages. It can also cause substantial financial losses for the patient. You could be entitled to economic and non-economic damages if you sustained an anesthesia injury.
Examples of damages in an anesthesia injury case include but are not limited to:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of wages, salaries, benefits, and other forms of income
- Mental trauma and emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life and quality of life
- Medical expenses for treating injuries and conditions caused by the anesthesia error
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
- Decreases in future earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- The cost of long-term care
Our Dallas medical malpractice lawyers will investigate the circumstances of your anesthesia injury. We’ll identify the cause of the injury and the parties responsible for your damages. We’ll also identify and calculate all damages you’ve sustained.
Who Is Liable in an Anesthesia Medical Malpractice Claim in Texas?
The anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists, and other medical providers can be liable for an anesthesia error. The hospital, doctor’s office, and other medical facilities can share liability.
If defective medical equipment caused or contributed to the injury, the device’s manufacturer could also be liable for damages. Product liability laws could hold the manufacturer strictly liable for damages.
Medical malpractice cases are complicated. You need medical experts to testify that the medical provider did not meet the standard of care. You also need medical experts to link the medical negligence to your injury.
Hiring a medical malpractice lawyer when you suspect medical errors caused your anesthesia injury gives you the best chance of winning your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Dallas Anesthesia Injury Lawyer
Anesthesia errors can cause catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths. Contact Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation with our Dallas medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your case or call us at (214) 855-1420. We want to help you get the compensation you deserve after a medical error causes you harm.