Anesthesia Errors and Medical Malpractice in Maryland: Preventing Catastrophic ConsequencesJuly 3, 2023
An anesthesiologist plays a crucial role in the surgical process. While the number of anesthesia errors is generally in decline, any mistake will have serious consequences. Patients can die from severe anesthesia errors. Others may experience lifelong effects from their injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured during a surgical procedure, speak with a lawyer to ask about anesthesiologist liability.
Under the circumstances, the anesthesiologist’s actions would be compared to those of a reasonable doctor. Not every bad result from a surgical procedure is anesthesia malpractice.
You would likely need an expert witness with extensive anesthesia knowledge to show what this particular doctor did wrong. One common defense you may encounter is the doctor arguing that any anesthesia error was not the actual cause of your injury and that your complications would have happened anyway.
Medical staff should do the following to avoid common anesthesia errors that can injure patients:
- Speak up when they think anything is wrong with the patient, the dosage, or the drug of choice – this applies to everyone involved in the anesthesia process.
- Implement process improvements to better document anesthesia treatment orders and any descriptions of medical complications, bringing any potential issues to the anesthesiologist’s attention.
- Carefully review the patient’s medications to avoid any adverse drug interactions.
- Reducing the complexity of the system that the doctor or hospital uses to lower the error rate.
Common Anesthesia Errors That Injure Patients
Here are some of the most common anesthesia errors that injure patients:
- Dosage errors: The doctor must carefully calibrate the dose to reflect the patient’s weight and medical background. The anesthesiologist may give too much or too little anesthesia for the surgery. If they give too much, there is a risk that the patient could go into a coma, or their heart rate may precipitously drop and cause death. If the anesthesiologist gives too little, the patient may wake up during surgery and suffer trauma and emotional distress.
- Monitoring negligence: The anesthesiologist must carefully monitor the patient during surgery. The doctor must quickly recognize any potential anesthesia complications and respond accordingly. Numerous vital signs could be affected when there are complications.
- Adverse drug interactions: The type of anesthesia used to sedate patients could negatively affect a drug they are already taking.
- Administering the wrong type of anesthesia: Primary types of anesthesia provide different levels of numbing or sedation. The doctor may choose the wrong type.
Contact a Baltimore Medical Malpractice Attorney at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Today
Any malpractice lawsuit can be challenging, but a Baltimore medical malpractice attorney at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help. We can work to hold the medical professional who injured you accountable. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Lanham, and Owings Mills, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.