When a patient has to undergo a surgical procedure, an anesthesiologist
may be called to administer anesthetic to help numb the pain and sedate
the patient. While the majority of these procedures go smoothly, there
are times when an error occurs that causes direct harm to the patient.
Some of these injuries are life threatening and can cause permanent damage—and
others are so tragic, they result in a fatality.
A survey published in
Anesthesia & Analgesia found that over 80% of anesthesiologists have been involved in a fatal
or serious incident to a patient. These tragic events range from severe
injury to death and they cause long-lasting consequences for both the
patient and the family. In addition, the anesthesiologists are also permanently
affected, experiencing a wide range of emotions, including anxiety, guilt,
and reliving of the event throughout their careers. The majority of those
surveyed also said that they felt personally responsible for the injury
or the death.
Anesthesia errors can range from giving the wrong medication to giving too much of an anesthetic
medication. When this occurs, the patient can stop breathing, go into
cardiac arrest, or experience a stroke. The results can be tragic—especially
for already compromised patients who are undergoing surgery. In addition
to fatal injuries, failure to administer epidural correctly or anesthesia
correctly can result in trauma to the teeth, tongue, and vocal cords that
can result in permanent disability.
In addition to administering medication, the anesthesiologist is responsible
for monitoring the patient’s status during surgery. This includes
paying close attention to the oxygen levels and heart rate. If the patient
loses too much oxygen and becomes hypoxic, they can risk suffering serious
If you or someone you love was injured after an anesthesia error, it is
important to speak with an experienced Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice
lawyer immediately to discuss your legal options. Anesthesiologists and
other hospital personnel have responsibility to ensure the safety of their
patients. They owe a duty of care to their patients and their patients’
families. When a doctor or nurse breaches this duty of care, they can—and
should—be held responsible for their actions.
Contact Fort Lauderdale Malpractice Lawyers
For decades, the
medical malpractice lawyers at Kelley/Uustal have been successfully fighting for the rights of injured
patients in Fort Lauderdale and throughout South Florida. To learn more
about your legal options, call our lawyers at (954) 522-6601 for a