Anesthesia is used to block or reduce pain when you undergo a medical procedure. When used properly, anesthesia can be perfectly safe. In fact, millions of Americans safely undergo medical procedures with anesthesia every year. However, anesthesia can be incredibly dangerous at times. Improper administration, insufficient monitoring, or allergies could cause the patient to suffer serious injuries. Some anesthesia injuries can even be fatal.
Have you or someone you love suffered an injury because of an anesthesia error? Contact Citywide Law Group to learn about your legal rights and options. Our personal injury lawyers will review your case and determine if a negligent medical professional is to blame. If so, you have the right to hold them responsible for any injury-related damages you suffer. Call our office to schedule a free consultation and get started on your case today.
Types of Anesthesia
When you undergo an invasive medical procedure, your doctor may determine that anesthesia is necessary to dull or block the pain. There are actually three different types of anesthesia that can be used.
Local Anesthesia: Local anesthesia simply numbs one small area of the body and prevents pain from being registered when a medical procedure is performed. You remain fully alert and awake when you receive a local anesthetic. Locals are often used at the dentist or by doctors performing minor, but painful, procedures.
Regional Anesthesia: Regional anesthesia is used when one entire part of your body (e.g., arm, leg, pelvis) needs to be numbed. You will remain awake when you receive a regional anesthesia. Regionals are often used in labor and delivery situations or after a replacement surgery.
General Anesthesia: General anesthesia affects the entire body and essentially puts you to sleep. You are entirely numb to any pain that may generally be felt during a medical procedure. When you wake up, you have no recollection of the surgery.
General anesthetics tend to pose the greatest risk of injury and harm to a patient. It is important for all anesthetics, but particularly generals, to be administered and monitored by a trained anesthesiologist.
Complications involving anesthesia are believed to be responsible for approximately 300 deaths and thousands of injuries every year. Anesthesia injuries can have a wide range of adverse effects. According to one study, the most commonly reported injuries involving anesthesia include cardiopulmonary arrest (11%), organ damage (13%), nerve damage (14%), death (18%), and dental damage (21%).
Side effects, symptoms, and other consequences of anesthesia injuries can include:
- Brain injury
- Heart attack
- Nerve damage
- Internal bleeding, and
- Birth injury.
It’s important to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any adverse effects after receiving anesthesia. Complications must be diagnosed and treated immediately to minimize potential risks to your health.
Anesthesia Errors and Injuries in Los Angeles
Injuries involving anesthesia can happen for many reasons. In some cases, a patient may simply be unaware that they are allergic to a particular analgesic drug. Other times, a person’s health may be too compromised to support the body while under anesthesia. Questions begin to arise when a seemingly healthy person suffers an anesthesia-related injury. In many cases, medical negligence and anesthesia errors are responsible.
Anesthesia errors that are commonly responsible for injuries include:
- Overdose of anesthetic agent
- Administering an insufficient amount of the anesthetic agent
- Administering the wrong anesthetic agent
- Failure to monitor oxygen levels
- Failure to identify fluctuations in blood pressure
- Failure to monitor a breathing and heart function, or
- Failure to identify possible interactions with known medications.
You can hold a negligent medical professional or anesthesiologist responsible if an anesthesia error causes your injury. Medical malpractice, or medical negligence, occurs when a medical professional breaches a duty of care and causes an injury. Since medical professionals have a very delicate job and literally hold the lives of their patients in their hands, they are held to very high standards.
Medical professionals, including the anesthesiologist in charge of your care, must “use the level of skill, knowledge, and care in diagnosis and treatment that other [qualified professionals] would use in the same or similar circumstances.” When anesthesiologists make mistakes in the administration or monitoring of your anesthesia, they may be considered negligent. You may also be able to hold doctors, nurses, medical staff, and/or hospital administration responsible for an anesthesia-related injury. Proving negligence will be essential to your medical malpractice lawsuit.
Damages Available to Anesthesia Injury Victims
Anesthesia injuries can have a wide range of negative effects. You may require additional medical care or rehabilitation. Serious injuries can result in disability and really disrupt your life. In California, you have the right to file a civil lawsuit to hold your negligent healthcare provider responsible for any harm they cause.
Damages available to victims of anesthesia error injuries can include money for:
- Medical expenses
- Nursing care
- Medical devices
- Lost wages
- Chronic pain
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Emotional suffering.
Contact Citywide Law Group to find out how our attorneys can help you maximize your financial settlement or award. We offer a free consultation and will help you understand your legal rights and options.
Statute of Limitations for Anesthesia Error Injury Claims
If you’ve suffered an injury because of an anesthesia error you have the right to ask for compensation. However, you can be prevented from getting the money you need if you do not file your claim on time. In California, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is typically one year. This means that you have one year from the date you discover your injury to initiate legal action.
The best way to protect yourself and your right to file a lawsuit is to contact an attorney as soon you suspect that you’ve been injured. At Citywide Law Group, our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers will diligently pursue your claim and make sure that it is filed within the applicable statute of limitations. Call us today to learn more.
How Our Los Angeles Anesthesia Injury Attorneys Can Help
Anesthesia-related injuries can be incredibly painful and limit your ability to enjoy your life. While you have the right to file a lawsuit, the last thing you need to do is navigate a complex legal claim on your own. This is particularly true for claims involving medical negligence. It’s best to hire an attorney with extensive experience handling these complex legal matters. This will not only give you the time and energy to focus on yourself, but also help your chances of recovering the money you deserve.
For more than 13 years, our personal injury lawyers have been dedicated to helping victims of medical negligence across Los Angeles. We understand that an anesthesia error injury can be devastating and are prepared to hold negligent medical professionals responsible for their actions.
Here’s what you can expect when you hire Citywide Law Group to handle your anesthesia injury case:
- A thorough investigation of the medical procedure during which you sustained an injury
- Assessment of the level of care that should have been administered by the medical professionals
- Identifying the cause of your anesthesia-related injury
- Identifying all parties who contributed to your injury
- Careful analysis of your injuries and case to determine its true value
- Consultations with experts to gather evidence and build a strong case
- Tough negotiations with defendants and insurers, and
- A commitment to litigate your case to get the result you deserve.
It’s important to ask for help if you’ve been injured because of an anesthesia error. Call Citywide Law Group to speak with our compassionate legal team today.
Los Angeles Anesthesia Error Injury Attorneys
Have you suffered an injury because of an anesthesia error in Los Angeles? Contact Citywide Law Group for immediate legal assistance. Our attorneys can help you recover compensation from a negligent anesthesiologist, medical professional, and/or hospital. The money you receive can help with medical bills and compensate for any emotional trauma you’ve experienced. You only have a limited amount of time to file your claim, so do not hesitate to call us for help today.