Anesthesia is a critical development in modern medicine. Without it, many patients would not be able to undergo surgical procedures – many of which are lifesaving. Doctors use anesthesia to numb a patient’s pain so their body does not go into shock while in surgery. Anesthesiologists administer these drugs and play an essential role in the healthcare system.

These doctors are responsible for ensuring the anesthesia drug and amount is safe for a particular patient, and for administering it properly. However, anesthesiologists can and do make mistakes. When that happens, the patient can suffer extreme physical and psychological pain. In some cases, anesthesia errors are fatal. A Hudson Valley anesthesia error lawyer could help you seek compensation for the pain and trauma you suffered at the hands of a medical professional. Read on to learn more about your rights and how a dedicated medical malpractice attorney could offer you their assistance today.

Defining Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia errors are a form of medication error. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration defines medication errors as any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the healthcare professional, patient, or consumer. In other words, when the doctor fails to provide the proper anesthesia in the correct dosage, they have committed a medication error – and possibly medical malpractice.

What Are Some Common Anesthesia Errors?

Anesthesia errors can occur from human, mechanical, pharmacy, and even drug manufacturer errors, and are often the result of miscommunication or inexperience. Some common anesthesia errors could include:

  • Providing the wrong anesthesia
  • Anesthesia dosage error
  • Neglecting to intubate the patient
  • Delaying anesthesia
  • Failing to keep a patient sedated
  • Prolonging sedation at the patient’s risk
  • Failing to monitor the patient while anesthetized
  • Failing to communicate with other surgical staff
  • Using faulty medical equipment to deliver the anesthesia
  • Failure to gain informed consent

What these factors have in common is negligence by medical staff or the hospital that employs them. Healthcare providers have a duty to provide reasonably prudent care to patients. When they fail to adhere to this duty and a patient suffers injuries and damages as a result, there may be grounds for that patient to pursue civil litigation. A dedicated Hudson Valley anesthesia error attorney could help patients whose anesthesia error involved any of the aforementioned factors file suit against the appropriate defendant.

What is Informed Consent?

Patients rely on their doctors to provide necessary information about their medications and procedures. Anesthesiologists, dentists, and other doctors that administer anesthesia are required to receive informed consent from their patients prior to a procedure. Informed consent means that the doctor has explained the risks, benefits, and alternatives of a particular course of treatment to the patient. The patient can then decide whether the risks of their treatment outweigh the benefits. If a patient decides to go ahead with the procedure, they must sign a consent form stating they agree to the treatment.

Holding Doctors Liable

All states establish a time limit on civil litigation meant to keep lawsuits fair for both the plaintiff and the defendant. As per New York Civil Practice Law and Rules § 214-a, the statute of limitations for medical error cases is two years and six months from the date of the injury.

Ignoring this deadline would likely lead to a victim being ineligible to recover compensation for their damages. However, meeting with a well-versed anesthesia error lawyer in Hudson Valley as soon as possible after the injury could help ensure that a case is filed on time.

When a doctor fails to talk with their patient about the risks of anesthesia, and then performs the procedure, that failure could constitute medical malpractice. Patients have a right to know the risks they face while under anesthesia. If something does go wrong, but the patient did not make a fully informed choice, their doctor could be held liable for injuries. An experienced lawyer could help an injured patient determine what went wrong, and who may be held responsible for their suffering.

How a Hudson Valley Anesthesia Error Attorney Could Help

If you suffered injury or illness while under anesthesia, you may need to consider contacting a Hudson Valley anesthesia error lawyer immediately as you could be entitled to financial compensation. Your lawyer could investigate your case, file a medical malpractice claim on your behalf, and negotiate with the health care provider or their insurance company so that you may receive the best outcome possible. If you were harmed because of an anesthesia error, discuss your case with an experienced attorney who will stand by your side every step of the way.