Anesthesia helps doctors perform safe and effective procedures. By combining pain control, paralysis, and unconsciousness, anesthetics allow doctors to accomplish complex and invasive surgeries.
But anesthesia also has its dangers. Errors in prescribing, monitoring, and administering anesthesia can cause serious injuries, including nerve damage, brain injuries, and even death.
If you’ve experienced this type of medical malpractice in Chicago, IL, our legal team is here to help. Call Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers at (312) 929 2884 to schedule your free initial consultation and speak to an experienced anesthesia error lawyer.
How Our Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help After an Anesthesia Error
Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers was founded in 2011 to provide personal injury legal services to accident victims in Chicago, Illinois. Our founding attorney has over a decade of experience fighting for financial compensation for the firm’s clients.
After an anesthesia error, our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers can help you by providing the following:
- A free consultation to discuss your injuries and assess your claim
- The courtroom experience needed to fight for a fair outcome if your case does not settle
- A record of winning or settling cases against insurers and at-fault parties
A medical mistake can leave you with permanent injuries that disable you from working and meeting your needs. Contact Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss the harm caused by your doctor’s mistake and how you can pursue compensation.
How Often Do Anesthesia Errors Happen in Chicago, IL?
Studies about medical malpractice have produced conflicting statistics. One study listed medical errors as the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. According to this study, over 60% of hospital deaths resulted from some form of medical mistake.
Another study conducted to verify these shocking results reported that only about 3-5% of hospital patients suffer preventable harm, and only about 12% die as a result. In other words, this study found that 0.4-0.6% of hospital deaths resulted from medical errors, or roughly 100 times less than the prior study.
These studies looked at all types of medical mistakes. Looking specifically at anesthesia errors, researchers estimate that roughly one in 250,000 anesthesia administrations result in death. The error rate is much higher, with roughly 30% of anesthesiologists admitting they committed a medical error during their careers.
But not all of these errors result in an adverse drug event (ADE). Many of these mistakes cause no harm to the patient. Or they get caught early enough that any potential harm is averted. Accounting for these “harmless” errors, mistakes by anesthesiologists cause tens of thousands of injuries and deaths every year.
Anesthesia Errors and Medical Malpractice in Chicago, Illinois
Anesthesia errors happen when an anesthesiologist makes an error in prescribing or administering anesthetics. They can also occur when the pharmacy provides an incorrect drug or dosage to the anesthesiologist.
Anesthesiologists can also make mistakes while monitoring the anesthetized patient. After sedating a patient, the anesthesiologist must track the patient’s vital signs to keep the patient unconscious but alive. They must also maintain the patient’s airway so they can breathe.
Effects of Anesthesia Errors
Anesthesia errors can have many effects, including:
- Nerve damage
- Anoxic brain damage
An overdose happens when a patient receives too much anesthetic. This can happen when the dose is too large or the concentration is too high. An overdose will depress the patient’s consciousness and vital signs too much. It can send the patient into a coma or even kill them.
When doctors perform invasive surgeries, the patient receives a general anesthetic consisting of a sedative to render the patient unconscious and a paralytic to paralyze their nervous system.
An underdose happens when the patient receives the paralytic but remains conscious during the procedure. Remaining conscious is called anesthesia awareness, and it can cause significant mental trauma. The patient feels every action the surgeon performs during the operation.
Nerve damage can result from an overdose of regional or local anesthetics. These anesthetics typically use chemicals to disrupt nerve signal transmission. Too much of a nerve-blocking drug can permanently shut down the nerves in the area.
Anoxic brain damage happens when your breathing gets disrupted. Your brain cells begin to die within a few minutes of losing your oxygen supply. Since brain cells cannot regrow, you may lose some functionality with each brain cell that dies.
Proving Medical Malpractice After an Anesthesia Error in Chicago, IL
Not every anesthesia error constitutes medical malpractice. To win a medical malpractice case, a Chicago anesthesia error attorney must prove that the doctor failed to meet the professional standard of care. This means the doctor did something that they knew or should have known would harm the patient.
For example, suppose that you were injured in a car accident and required a local anesthetic to extract some loose teeth. A dentist might damage the nerves of your mouth and face by administering a neurotoxic dose of procaine.
The damages you can recover for medical malpractice include your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. If medical malpractice killed a family member, you can pursue a wrongful death claim for the losses you incurred due to their death.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Chicago, IL, To Discuss Your Anesthesia Error Injury
An anesthesia error can cause mental and physical trauma, permanent disabilities, or death. Contact Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss how your injuries happened and the compensation you can seek for them.