For many, the most anxiety-producing aspect of having to undergo surgery is the need for general anesthesia. Your very life depends on the competence and attentiveness of the anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist who is charged with administering anesthetic drugs and monitoring you while you are unconscious. You have little choice but to trust that you will be brought out of the anesthesia and returned to consciousness safely. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, and patients die or suffer serious health consequences from improperly administered drugs. A Phoenix anesthesia errors lawyer specializes in these situations and can help you during this terrible situation.
Although anesthesia is much safer today than it was fifty years ago, it must be administered with care. On the average, 300 anesthesia-related deaths are reported each year. This probably doesn’t account for all of them, as doctors and hospitals are quick to look for other causes in order to avoid liability in a malpractice law suit. And not all anesthesia errors result in death, at least not immediately. They may cause health problems that negatively affect the patient’s quality of life and potentially reduce life expectancy.
Health Problems Associated with Anesthesia Errors
Anesthesia errors can cause these and other health problems:
Post traumatic stress disorder (resulting from anesthesia awareness)
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Lingering and sometimes permanent cognitive impairment
How Anesthesia Errors Occur
Sometimes patients have bad reactions to anesthesia for reasons that cannot reasonably be anticipated; but in many cases, the person administering it has caused the problem as a result of carelessness or inattention before, during, or immediately after the procedure. Causes of preventable errors with anesthesia include:
Not taking a thorough medical history, including allergies, medications, heart or lung problems, mental conditions, and prior problems with anesthesia
Failing to communicate clearly with the patient regarding ingestion of food, fluids, and medication before having anesthesia
Failing to communicate with others in the operating room
Not intubating the patient, or doing so improperly
Wrong choice of anesthetic drug
Interaction of anesthetic drugs with other medications
Giving an excessive amount of anesthesia
Giving too little
Using defective equipment
Failing to monitor the patient’s vital signs
Standard of Care in Phoenix, AZ
An Arizona medical professional administering anesthesia has a duty to deliver an appropriate standard of care, at least equivalent to that expected of any reasonably competent person in that area of specialization. These and other omissions or mistakes, in many cases, would indicate that the expected standard of patient care required of anesthesiologists and nurse- anesthetists in the Arizona medical community may have been breached, which would entitle the victim and family to recover monetary damages in a medical malpractice law suit.
The Legal Help You Need
Medical malpractice cases are notoriously difficult to prove in Arizona. They are often high dollar value cases that hospitals, doctors, and their insurance companies fight with every means at their disposal. If you or a member of your family has been injured by the negligence of an anesthesiologist, anesthetist, or other medical professional, you will need to hire an extremely skilled and experienced Phoenix anesthesia errors lawyer — one who understands medical procedures, medical terminology, and standards of medical practice — and who has access to well-respected physicians who will review your medical records for evidence of wrongdoing and who will testify on your behalf.
In Phoenix, you will find this level of legal professionalism and experience at the law firm of Knapp & Roberts. We have a long history of successfully resolving the most challenging medical malpractice cases in favor of our clients, in some cases in the millions of dollars. We are proud of our role in obtaining justice for victims of incompetent doctors and hospitals and for deterring medical negligence by holding those responsible accountable for the harm they have done.
If a member of your family died unexpectedly under anesthesia during a surgery or other procedure, or if you or someone you love has experienced new physical or mental health problems following anesthesia, we want to hear about it. Contact our top-rated Phoenix personal injury attorneys to schedule a free consultation to learn if you have a case against the doctor or hospital responsible. Legal time restrictions limit the time in which you can file a claim, so don’t delay or you could lose your right to recover compensation. Call today.
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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.