Anesthesia Malpractice

An anesthesiologist is a doctor specializing in the administration of anesthesia.  He or she is responsible for monitoring a patient's heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, and breathing during surgery.  Many also provide epidural pain relief for surgery and labor. 

There are approximately 30,000 active anesthesiologists in the United States.  After medical school, each must complete a 4 year residency in anesthesiology.  According to a recent report prepared by the American Medical Group Association, the median salary for the specialty is just over $366,000.00 per year.

As many as 1 patient out of every 2-300,000 who undergo anesthesia experience a complication.  Sometimes, anesthesia complications are unavoidable.  However, many times, anesthesia complications are due to medical negligence, including:

  • dosage errors (administration of too much, or too little anesthesia);
  • delayed delivery (administration of anesthesia too early, or too late);
  • failure to intubate (failure to protect the airway, leading to asphyxia);
  • failure to monitor vital signs;
  • prolonged sedation; and
  • defective equipment.

When anesthesia errors occur, the potential for injury is great.  Common anesthesia-related injuries include:

  • nerve damage;
  • loss of bodily function;
  • oxygen deprivation;
  • heart damage;
  • brain damage;
  • damage to the trachea (from intubation);
  • coma; death.

Anesthesia awareness is another anesthesia-related complication, where a patient may be conscious, yet paralyzed, during a surgical procedure. As many as 40,000 people experience anesthesia awareness every year. Of those who experience anesthesia awareness, roughly half can hear conversations in the operating room. Others report feeling pain, or feel like they cannot breathe.  Anesthesia awareness can be caused by an unavoidable and unpredictable reaction to anesthesia. However, it can also be the result of medical malpractice, provided that the awareness was a result of a physician’s failure to administer the proper type or dosage of anesthesia.

The trial lawyers at Bottar Leone, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict medical malpractice cases due to or arising out of anesthesia errors.  If you have been injured due to an anesthesia complication, you and your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, medical expenses, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Central New York medical malpractice and birth injury attorney, contact us now at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at info@bottarleone.com.