Anesthesia is commonly used in medical facilities, doctor’s offices, and hospitals. It allows doctors and medical providers to perform surgery and other procedures without causing the patient pain during the procedure. Anesthesia can also make patients forget the procedure and any pain they might have experienced.
For the most part, anesthesia is safe to use. However, anesthesia injury occurs when an anesthesiologist or medical provider makes errors or is negligent. The consequences for the patient can be devastating.
Anesthesia errors are generally covered by Illinois medical malpractice laws. If the medical provider was negligent or failed to provide an acceptable standard of care, they could be liable for damages.
What Are Some Common Anesthesia Errors That Can Cause Patient Injury and Death?
Anesthesia errors are common. Many of the errors do not injure patients, and the patients are unaware of the mistakes made by their medical providers. However, some anesthesia errors can cause catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths.
Many of the mistakes made when administering anesthesia are preventable. They are due to negligence by the medical professional. Examples of common anesthesia errors that could result in negligence or malpractice claims include:
- Failing to review a patient’s medical history before administering anesthesia
- Giving the patient the wrong type of anesthesia medication
- Errors and mistakes with oxygen
- Administering the wrong dose of anesthesia
- Failing to monitor the patient during and after anesthesia
- Incorrect placement of anesthesia
- Errors made while intubating a patient
- Using general anesthesia instead of a safer alternative
- Failing to monitor a patient’s vital signs
- Waiting too long to administer anesthesia or giving anesthesia too quickly
- Failing to identify the potential for adverse reactions between the anesthesia and other medications the patient is taking
Some anesthesia injuries are beyond the control of an anesthesiologist. Patients might not be aware that they are allergic to the anesthesia until the doctor administers the medication.
However, if a medical provider is negligent or makes anesthesia errors that cause the patient harm, they can be held financially liable for the patient’s injuries and damages.
What Are Some Common Injuries Caused by Anesthesia Errors and Negligence?
Anesthesia is a powerful medication. When used correctly, it benefits the patient. However, when a doctor makes an anesthesia mistake, the patient can sustain injuries.
Common conditions and injuries associated with anesthesia errors include:
- Traumatic brain damage
- Respiratory arrest
- Anesthesia awareness
- Vegetative state
- Nerve damage
- Organ damage
- Severe allergic reactions
- Internal bleeding
- Dental damage
- Obstructed airways
If a medical facility, hospital, anesthesiologist, or other medical provider made mistakes using anesthesia and it caused you to be injured, contact our Chicago anesthesia injury lawyers to discuss your legal options. An anesthesia injury could result in significant damages that might be recovered by filing a medical malpractice claim.
What Damages Can I Receive for a Chicago Anesthesia Injury Claim?
Illinois medical malpractice laws allow patients to recover compensatory damages for an anesthesia injury claim. You can receive compensation for your economic damages, including:
- Past and future medical bills
- Personal care and household services
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost wages and reductions in future earning capacity
- Physical therapy and other rehabilitative care
You can also seek compensation for your non-economic damages. These damages compensate you for the following:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Impairment and disability
- Mental anguish
The amount you receive for an anesthesia injury claim depends on the severity of your injury, your financial losses, and other factors. However, before you can hold a party liable for damages, you must prove the legal elements of a medical malpractice claim.
How Do I Prove Liability for an Anesthesia Injury Claim in Chicago, IL?
As the injured party, you have the burden of proving the legal elements to establish a medical malpractice claim. The legal elements of an anesthesia malpractice claim are:
- The medical provider owed you a legal duty of care because of a doctor-patient relationship
- The provider violated the accepted standard of care because of an intentional tort, negligence, or other wrongdoing
- The deviation from the standard of care was the direct and proximate cause of your injury
- You sustained damages because of the medical provider’s breach of duty
The medical standard of care is based on what a reasonably prudent medical professional with similar skills and training would have done, given the circumstances. We base the standard of care on opinions from medical experts with specialized knowledge of the care a doctor should provide under certain circumstances.
Medical providers might not be liable for circumstances beyond their control or that they could not foresee. A doctor is also not liable for malpractice if you did not sustain damages because of the malpractice.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing an Anesthesia Injury Claim in Illinois?
Most medical malpractice claims in Illinois have a two-year statute of limitations for filing lawsuits. The court can dismiss your lawsuit if you file it after the statute of limitations expires.
If you did not discover the anesthesia injury immediately, you could have additional time to file your claim. However, you do not have an indefinite period to file a lawsuit.
Therefore, we recommend contacting our law firm as soon as possible to discuss your case. You do not want to lose your right to file a lawsuit and pursue a claim in court for an anesthesia injury.
What Should You Do if You Suspect You Were Injured Because of an Anesthesia Error?
Consult a physician immediately if you are experiencing symptoms or signs of a medical condition or injury. Document your symptoms and injuries through medical records and personal notes.
Gather as much information and documentation as possible regarding your procedure and the anesthesia used during the procedure. If you hire an attorney, your lawyer’s office requests medical records on your behalf.
Document financial damages, including lost time from work, medical expenses, and other costs associated with the anesthesia injury. Detailed records help prove damages to maximize the recovery amount.
As soon as possible, contact an attorney for legal advice. The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the better for your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Chicago Anesthesia Injury Lawyers
If you suffered harm because of an anesthesia error, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact our Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys at (312) 726-1616 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Chicago anesthesia injury attorneys.