West Palm Beach Anesthesia Malpractice Attorney
Anesthesiologists are doctors, just as surgeons are. Thus, they must be regulated in the same manner. Indeed, a case can be made that anesthesiologists need to be regulated just as strictly as surgeons; they must be ready to jump in before, during and after any surgery, and it is very possible for them to commit malpractice. A surgeon’s malpractice may be minor, however; an anesthesiologist’s malpractice will likely be debilitating or even life-threatening. If it happens to you or a loved one, having an experienced legal professional on your side may make the difference between victory and defeat in the courtroom.
General Facts About Anesthesia
Anesthesia is used in several instances in routine medical care, most often in surgery. There are many different varieties, including general (which renders one unconscious), and local (things like epidurals during labor, that numb a specific area of the body, but do not induce unconsciousness).
Anesthesia may be administered by any medical professional, but for the majority of the time, the job will be done by an anesthesiologist or a CRNA – Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. CRNAs are nurses who practice in multiple settings, and very often will be the lead professional responsible for anesthetizing patients during surgery. Ideally, an anesthesiologist should be present along with a CRNA, but budget cuts have occasionally made this impossible in some hospitals. In Florida, both doctors and nurses fall into the same category of medical professional for purposes of malpractice cases, and can be sued accordingly.
Examples of Malpractice
An anesthesiologist’s duty of care is to be present or at least available during surgery, so as to prevent any possible problem with the anesthesia. While not every problem that can crop up with anesthesia during surgery constitutes malpractice, many can be linked to the doctor or nurse’s conduct in administration. Examples include:
- Failure of due diligence (for example, not knowing about a patient’s allergy to a certain drug);
- Poor intubation or another manner of failure to ensure the patient’s breathing/vital signs;
- Poor handling of oxygen around hot surgical tools;
- Failure to warn patients of possible side effects; and
- “Anesthesia awareness,” or giving too little anesthesia.
Any or all of these mistakes can result in severe injury – burns, throat and lung damage, or even death. Anesthesia awareness in particular can also breed mental and emotional trauma; it is not at all unforeseeable that someone who has not been given enough anesthesia could wake up on the operating table and develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or another trauma-related disorder.
Contact An Anesthesia Malpractice Attorney
If you or a loved one has experienced malpractice on the part of your CRNA or anesthesiologist, you may be entitled to compensation. Gary Roberts & Associates is a uniquely qualified law firm for this sort of case, as we have medical experts on staff and a long history of success in anesthesia malpractice cases. We do our best to be here for you when you need us, with up-to-date information and a shoulder to lean on in what can be a difficult time for anyone. Our firm is able to accommodate Spanish-speaking clients, and can make appointments at flexible hours to serve you better. Contact our West Palm Beach offices for a free initial consultation today.