Our Anesthesia Malpractice Lawyers Can Help Victims in Montana and Wyoming
Anesthesia is a common component of many medical procedures. As a result, many patients do not realize the inherent risks and what can happen when something goes wrong. Anesthesia errors can result in significant harm to the patient and can be fatal in some cases. If you have suffered harm as a result of an anesthesia error, you may be entitled to compensation. A Montana and Wyoming anesthesia malpractice lawyer can review your case and determine whether you have a claim.
Have You Suffered as a Result of Anesthesia Malpractice?
Anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) receive specific education and training regarding the administration of anesthesia. They are responsible for the patient’s safety, which includes monitoring their vital signs while sedated. Mistakes in administering the drugs or failing to adequately monitor their patients can result in serious harm.
As with any other area of medical malpractice, you must prove that the anesthesiologist or CRNA failed to act at the level of the accepted standard of care. The applicable standard of care will depend on a number of factors specific to your case. Sudden and unexpected complications can occur in any operating room environment, and anesthesiologists and CRNAs must make snap decisions under intense pressure. Some of these complications may be unavoidable while others are the result of negligence. As a result, identifying anesthesia malpractice can be extremely difficult. An experienced Wyoming or Montana anesthesia malpractice lawyer can review your case and determine whether you are the victim of medical malpractice.
Symptoms and Consequences of Anesthesia Malpractice
Anesthesia malpractice can manifest itself in various ways and often results in serious harm to the patient. The following are some of the most common symptoms and consequences of anesthesia malpractice:
- Nerve damage
- Heart arrhythmia
- Cardiovascular collapse (loss of sufficient blood flow)
In some instances, anesthesia malpractice can result in death. If you have suffered any of these events or symptoms, or simply suspect that something went wrong while you were under the care of an anesthesiologist, you should contact a Montana or Wyoming anesthesia malpractice lawyer immediately.
Causes of Anesthesia Malpractice
Anesthesia malpractice can occur in a variety of ways - some of which may be caused by the anesthesiologist or CRNA, while others may be caused by malfunctioning equipment or poor communication between departments. Here are some common causes of anesthesia malpractice:
- Administering the incorrect amount of anesthesia. Too much anesthesia can result in a lack of oxygen, possibly leading to brain damage and even death. Too little anesthesia can cause the patient to wake up during the procedure, which can be extremely frightening and painful.
- Incorrect intubation. Intubation errors can cause damage to the trachea, collapsed lungs, and other issues.
- Defective equipment. Administration of anesthesia requires sophisticated medical equipment. Failing to repair or replace malfunctioning equipment can lead to serious anesthesia errors. In some cases, the hospital or anesthesiologist may be unaware that the equipment is defective and you may need to pursue a claim against the manufacturer of the device.
- Fatigue. Hospitals have heavy workloads and are often understaffed. This means that medical personnel, including anesthesiologists and CRNAs, are often required to work around the clock to ensure that patients receive adequate care. Unfortunately, fatigue can lead to errors in judgment that can result in serious harm.
- Incompetence. You must receive extensive training in order to be an anesthesiologist or CRNA. In some cases, malpractice has occurred because the anesthesiologist or CRNA has not received adequate training. Inexperienced anesthesiologists or CRNAs should also be appropriately supervised with more experienced staff on standby in case of an emergency.
- Purposeful negligence. These cases are somewhat rare, but purposeful negligence can include being under the influence of drugs or alcohol during a procedure, intentionally cutting corners, or blatantly ignoring safety protocols.
It can be quite difficult to prove the cause of your anesthesia error and demonstrate that it constitutes medical malpractice. Expert testimony may be required, but a Wyoming and Montana anesthesia malpractice lawyer will know how to build your case.
Common Anesthesia Errors That Can Lead to a Malpractice Claim
There are many different ways that a malpractice claim can arise from an anesthesia error. However, most anesthesia malpractice claims arise from the following errors:
- Failure to review or consider your medical history including any known allergies
- Administering the incorrect dosage
- Failure to monitor your vital signs
- Failure to recognize or respond to signs of distress
- Delays in administering anesthesia
- Shutting off the pulse oximeter alarm or disabling other safety measures
- Providing inadequate instructions to the patient
- Improper intubation or failure to intubate
You may also have a claim for medical malpractice if they failed to obtain your informed consent prior to administering anesthesia. Obtaining your informed consent requires them to explain the procedure, the related risks, and the potential side effects. You must then acknowledge your consent by signing a form.
Obviously, you would not know if any of these errors occurred while you were under anesthesia. But if you have suffered any adverse effects or suspect that an error occurred, the best thing to do is contact a Montana and Wyoming anesthesia malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
How an Anesthesia Malpractice Lawyer Will Prove Your Claim
You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses if you suffered harm as a result of an anesthesia error. However, you have to prove more than that you suffered harm or that there was an error. A Wyoming and Montana anesthesia malpractice lawyer can help you get the compensation you need to move forward by proving the following:
- That the anesthesiologist or CRNA failed to provide an acceptable standard of care
- That a similarly trained and experienced anesthesiologist or CRNA would have acted differently in the same situation
- That you suffered injuries as a direct result of the anesthesiologist or CRNA’s negligence
- That you would not have suffered harm had the treatment you received conformed to the applicable standard of care
- The severity of your injuries and extent of your subsequent losses such as lost income and additional medical bills
Contact a Montana and Wyoming Anesthesia Malpractice Lawyer at Ragain & Clark Today
Unfortunately, your time may be running out. The best thing you can do is take immediate action if you believe you have suffered as a result of an anesthesia error. Contact Ragain & Clark today to schedule a free consultation - dial 406-651-8888 for our Billings office or 307-388-6400 for our Worland office.