Florida Anesthesia Malpractice Attorneys
Although the incidence of anesthetic errors made during surgical procedures has decreased in recent years, medical researchers have found that the mistakes are still occurring too frequently, with often irreversible adverse effects. Patients who have been the victim of an anesthetic error can, for example, suffer from respiratory problems, brain damage, nerve damage, heart attack, stroke and even death.
If you or a member of your family has suffered an adverse effect because of an anesthetic error, you may be able to hold the doctor and/or nurse accountable for their medical negligence and the harm it caused. By filing a Florida medical malpractice claim, you could potentially collect substantial compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering, and other damages resulting from the anesthetic error.
The accomplished Paul Knopf Bigger attorneys are dedicated to holding negligent healthcare professionals accountable for the harm they inflict on patients and their families. Throughout our years as Florida medical malpractice attorneys, we have successfully litigated numerous malpractice cases and have won multi-million-dollar settlements and awards for the clients we have had the privilege of representing.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss your potential Florida medical malpractice claim and answer any questions you might have about the legal process. At Paul Knopf Bigger, we are committed to excellence in the pursuit of justice and want to put our commitment, experience and expertise to work for you.
Common Effects of Anesthesia Used During Surgical Procedures
When patients require or choose surgery as a possible treatment option for a medical condition, they know anesthesia will be used to prevent pain during the procedure. The surgeon, anesthesiologist and/or other members of the surgical team inform them of the risks associated with anesthesia, such as nausea, vomiting, chills, sore throat and confusion. Although not common, more serious risks such as postoperative cognitive dysfunction, malignant hyperthermia, and respiratory problems, must also be considered.
The American Society of American Anesthesiologists recommends that patients who are planning on having surgery meet with their physician anesthesiologists prior to the operation so that they can learn about any factors that might affect your reaction to specific anesthetics and keep you safe during surgery. In addition, anesthesiologists can recommend ways you might be able to lower your risk of adverse effects from anesthesia.
Unfortunately, when physician anesthesiologists or nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) make mistakes when administering anesthetics, the effects can be much more serious and long-lasting. Patients who suffer the effects of these avoidable anesthetic errors should hold the negligent healthcare providers accountable and seek the substantial compensation they deserve for their pain, losses and suffering.
How Anesthesia Errors Occur
Negligent patient care and safety before, during or after a surgical procedure can cause numerous anesthesia errors. Some of the common errors that can have serious negative effects on patients include:
- Failing to give patients adequate instructions before administering anesthesia.
- Failing to review the complete medical history of the patient to avoid anesthetic-related complications.
- Administering too much or too little anesthesia.
- Delaying anesthesia delivery.
- Administering the wrong type of anesthesia.
- Administering an anesthetic the patient is allergic to.
- Using defective equipment or medical devices while administering anesthesia.
- Failing to properly monitor a patient when he is under anesthesia.
- Failing to administer or monitor surgical oxygen properly.
- Failing to recognize adverse drug reactions caused by interactions between anesthesia and certain medications.
- Failing to consider the effects patient positioning may have on the patient’s blood pressure and the blood supply to the patient’s brain.
- Failing to identify or treat complications that develop.
- Leaving a patient sedated for too long.
- Leaving an anesthetized patient unattended.
- Failing to provide post-operative instructions.
Problems with Propofol
Propofol is the drug commonly used to induce conscious sedation in patients having outpatient procedures and in larger doses, to induce loss of consciousness in patients having major surgery. When administered correctly and monitored closely, propofol is very useful and can be relatively safe. However, when not administered correctly and/or when patients aren’t monitored closely, propofol can cause serious problems, even death.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists’ “Statement on Safe Use of Propofol” indicates that anesthetics like propofol require “special attention” because serious changes can occur quickly, even when patients are given only moderate doses of the sedative. They recommend that a specially trained physician (anesthesiologist) or other specially trained practitioner, who can identify and manage respiratory and cardiovascular changes and complications, be dedicated solely to monitoring the patient throughout the entire procedure.
Propofol lowers patients’ blood pressure and suppresses breathing, so vigilant monitoring of the patient’s level of consciousness, ventilation, oxygen saturation, heart rate and blood pressure is necessary. If the anesthetic practitioner does not closely monitor sedated patients, if he is not adequately trained in rescuing patients who develop complications while sedated, or if the equipment to rescue patients is not immediately available, patients can suffer life-altering injuries.
Complications and Injuries Associated with Anesthesia Errors
Anesthesia errors can cause many different complications and injuries. Some of these are temporary, but others can be very serious and even life-threatening. These serious effects include:
- Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction)
- Respiratory problems
- Nerve damage
- Blood clots
- Brain damage
- Heart attack
Negligence and errors in administering an anesthetic, monitoring a patient under anesthesia or treating a patient experiencing complications related to an anesthetic are serious breaches of a healthcare professional’s duty to provide acceptable patient care.
If you or a family member has experienced serious adverse effects due to a doctor or nurse’s negligence or error, you may be able to hold the negligent healthcare provider(s) accountable and obtain the substantial compensation you deserve.
Florida Medical Malpractice Lawsuits for Damages from Anesthesia Errors
A claim of medical malpractice can hold negligent doctors and nurses accountable for an anesthesia error. According to the Florida Statutes, medical malpractice is the failure of a healthcare provider to act in accordance with the accepted professional standard of care owed to patients. When a healthcare provider is negligent and does not provide the same level of care a reasonably prudent medical provider of the same specialty would provide and thereby causes a patient to suffer serious injury or wrongful death, the healthcare provider can be held liable with a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If you have been injured by an anesthesia error and you file a medical malpractice claim, you may be able to obtain substantial compensation for the damages you suffered. These damages may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished capacity for enjoying life
- Other damages recoverable under Florida law
Proving that an anesthesiologist, CRNA or other healthcare practitioner breached the accepted professional standard of care before, during or after administering an anesthetic and that the breach seriously injured a patient can be very challenging. To prepare and execute a successful medical malpractice claim requires a thorough investigation into all the details of the case, a comprehensive understanding of all the facts, high quality expert testimony and skill as a trial lawyer.
Paul Knopf Bigger attorneys have the necessary expertise and skill to successfully represent clients across the country who have been seriously injured by anesthesia errors in Florida. We work as a team, putting our combined knowledge, skills and substantial resources to work to achieve justice and full compensation for victims of anesthesia errors.
Florida Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
The Florida statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits is two years from the date the malpractice occurred, was discovered or should have been discovered. The latest date allowed for the discovery of malpractice is four years from the date the negligent incident occurred.
Patients who have been harmed by anesthesia errors should not postpone contacting an experienced Florida medical malpractice attorney for advice on their case. Initiating a lawsuit can take quite a bit of time, since Florida law requires that a thorough investigation, including a review of the claim and a verified written medical expert opinion, be completed as part of the mandatory notice of intent to initiate litigation.
Proven and Trusted Florida Anesthetic Error Malpractice Attorneys
Medical malpractice cases are usually very complicated, requiring the legal expertise of experienced trial attorneys and the resources of a successful law firm. The Paul Knopf Bigger attorneys have achieved many multi-million-dollar settlements and awards and have the experience, skill and resources you can trust to achieve justice and win your medical malpractice case.
Paul Knopf Bigger is the Florida medical malpractice law firm lawyers throughout the state and across the country trust to successfully handle their clients’ complex medical malpractice claims. If you or a family member has been injured by an anesthesia error, we are the law firm you can trust to provide high quality representation with excellent personal attention and outstanding results.
Please call us at 800-673-9585 or submit the “Free Case Evaluation” form on our website to discuss your case with an experienced Florida medical malpractice attorney you can trust for excellence in the pursuit of justice.