Representing Patients of Anesthesia Error in New Jersey

An anesthesiologist is a physician who has been trained to administer anesthesia and to monitor a patient’s vital signs during surgery and in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU).  The anesthesiologist plays a critical role in every surgical procedure, and patients and attending surgeons must place a great deal of trust in their abilities.  When an anesthesiologist’s care falls below the accepted standard of care, patients can suffer from serious, ongoing health conditions, or death.

If you are the victim of an anesthesia error, the anethesiologist’s insurance carrier will seek to minimize any liability for the harm caused.  The medical negligence lawyers at Shebell & Shebell work with highly qualified anesthesiology experts to prepare compelling cases for our clients.  If you or a loved one believes that they have been injured as a result of anesthesia error, speak to one of our lawyers about investigating the cause and origin of any possible anesthesia error.

Causes of Anesthesia Error

All medical procedures involve certain risks, and anesthesia is no exception.  Some risks cannot be completely eliminated .  However, what medical professionals try to excuse as a “complication” or unavoidable consequence, are often the result of medical negligence.

Anesthesiology is a demanding area of medical practice that requires precise attention to detail, immediate response to adverse and changing vital signs, and close patient follow up immediately following surgery.

Some of the more common types of anesthesia errors include:

  • Anesthesia dosage error: this can happen when an anesthetic is improperly labeled, the amount or dose is improperly administered, or a provider does not carefully review a patient’s chart for allergic reactions.
  • Delayed delivery: equipment problems such as vaporizer leakage, or accidents during syringe-swapping can cause this type of error.
  • Intubation injury: during surgery, patients are often intubated to facilitate breathing, and errors in the size of tubing, removal and position of tubing can occur. If a patient is not properly intubated or extubated, they may suffer from significant damage to vocal cords or brain damage.
  • Failure to properly monitor a patient: anesthesiologists are responsible for monitoring a patient’s vital signs before, during, and after administration of medications during surgery and in the PACU. Negligence can result in a patient having an adverse reaction during the procedure, or suffering other injuries, such as brain damage or death, after surgery.
  • Leaving a patient unattended: this can result in accidents such as a patient rolling off an operating table.
  • Dangerously prolonged sedation or overdose of narcotic medications: An anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist or PACU nurse may not monitor a patient as closely as necessary following the administration of potentially life-threatening narcotics, causing a significant impairment on a patient’s breathing, blood pressure, or heart.
  • Defective equipment 

Common Injuries Caused By Anesthesia Error

Risks of anesthesia are often greater in elderly patients and those who have underlying medical problems, such as sleep apnea.  Any patient is vulnerable to suffering these types of injuries if their anesthesiologist is negligent, including:

  • Anesthesia awareness (waking up during surgery): if a patient is not administered a sufficient dose of anesthetic, they may be paralyzed and unable to speak, but still be aware of what is happening and possibly even feel the pain of the surgery. This can be traumatic, causing a patient to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, and sleep problems.
  • Overdose
  • Allergic reaction
  • Lung infection
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Death

We Fight Tirelessly For Victims of Anesthesia-Induced Negligence

At Shebell & Shebell, we know what to look for when examining your medical records.  We will review the policies of your treatment facility to determine if they contributed to your injury. We will consult with leading medical experts to determine whether your claim is valid.  Depending on the factors of your case, we will attempt negotiate a favorable settlement, or proceed to a trial.

The lawyers at Shebell & Shebell have successfully represented victims of medical malpractice in Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  If you have been injured due to anesthesia error, call us at 866-957-5237 or contact us online today.

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