In the United States, medical malpractice is very common. Anesthesia medical malpractice make up the majority of these malpractice cases, ranking twelfth highest of the medical specialties where doctors in these specialties have to pay compensation for their mistakes. Anesthesia malpractice is life changing. A doctor's negligence can cause permanent damage to the brain and even death.
Even though medical malpractice is common, proving negligence with anesthesia cases against the defendant is not easy to do. One reason is that a patient is heavily sedated, even unconscious at times, when given anesthesia. Another reason proving doctor's negligence is difficult is because there is little to no notes taken for a patient's medical record during surgery.
How Can Medical Malpractice Related to Anesthesia be Avoided?
Taking thorough notes on every patient should be standard by hospitals, so any chances of anesthesia malpractice can be avoided. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and while the patient is under anesthesia, an error occurs. A patient's medical record should include:
Regrettably, there are cases when notes of a patient were taken but sadly, they were "altered" or "misplaced" to cover up their misconduct. Malpractice insurers and professional medical societies have a duty to inform health care professionals not to alter any medical records. Nonetheless, this professional and ethical advice gets forgotten when a mistake does occur that was life altering or even life threatening.
Where Does Medical Malpractice Happen?
It is often thought that medical malpractice with anesthesia takes place only in an operating room. This is not the case, anesthesia mistakes can occur before surgery, after surgery, any procedure room and even in a dental office. Any type of situation where anesthesia is given can result in malpractice, from childbirth to a simple dental procedure.
A patient can suffer many different types of problems due to this type of medical malpractice. Some of the more common injuries a patient can suffer include:
How Can You be Prepared?
Most of these anesthesia malpractice cases are unintentional but not any less devastating to an individual. It is important to be aware of these mistakes and be prepared for them. Sharing your medical records with your doctor, anesthesiologist, and close family members is a good way to be prepared. Make sure you and others are aware if you have any allergies or if you could have a harmful reaction before administering the anesthesia.
If you or someone you know, was a victim of an anesthesia medical mistake contact an experience medical attorney immediately. They can evaluate your claim and will go over all of your legal options.