Philadelphia Anesthesia Error Lawyer

Medical errors are a leading cause of accidental death and injury in the United States and many types of medical negligence can lead to serious harm to patients. One of the most overlooked areas of medicine that can lead to permanent damage, disability, or even death is anesthesia. Many types of anesthesia can cause serious damage when mishandled, and failure to properly monitor a patient under the influence of anesthesia can result in catastrophic injuries. If you or a loved one experienced an anesthesia error during surgery and believe medical malpractice occurred, speak with a skilled Philadelphia anesthesia error lawyer.

Philadelphia anesthesia error lawyer

Philadelphia Anesthesia Error Resources

Why Trust Rosenbaum & Associates with Your Anesthesia Error Claim?

When Philadelphia residents or their loved ones suffer injuries from anesthesia errors, the right Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney can help them recover compensation for the significant losses and financial impact that often result from these situations. You should choose Rosenbaum & Associates to handle your medical malpractice claim for several reasons:

  • Rosenbaum & Associates primarily focuses on medical malpractice cases in the Philadelphia area. Many law firms offer legal services for a variety of practice areas, but we believe that a focused approach to one type of claim allows us to provide a higher caliber of representation than catchall firms that may not excel at complex medical malpractice cases.
  • Our firm has more than 50 years of experience handling medical malpractice cases. Medicine and the laws surrounding it are constantly evolving, and we stay up to date with the latest news in the medical and legal worlds to offer our clients the best representation possible.
  • Our firm works with other attorneys throughout the U.S. to coordinate the best possible representation for our clients and develop strong relationships with top-performing medical malpractice attorneys all over the country.
  • We believe in aggressive and comprehensive representation. We will thoroughly investigate every aspect of your claim to fully explore every channel of compensation that could be available to you. Our goal is to maximize your recovery after suffering an injury from medical negligence.
  • We offer contingency fee billing, meaning that you only pay us legal fees after we win your case. Instead of other firms that charge per hour or per day, we believe our contingency fee billing shows our willingness to stake our success on your legal victory, and contingency fee billing helps plaintiffs secure legal representation when they otherwise couldn’t afford it.

Call (215) 569-0200 today to schedule a free consultation. A knowledgeable Philadelphia anesthesia error lawyer can review the details of your claim and let you know what kind of compensation you might receive from a successful lawsuit.

Compensation for Anesthesia Errors in Pennsylvania

An anesthesia error can lead to severe injuries that require corrective medical treatment, long-term recovery, and may result in other damages as well. The compensation available to claimants with anesthesia error claims varies from case to case, but the economic damages available to plaintiffs typically include:

  • Medical expenses. If you experienced an anesthesia error, then you already had some medical issue before the error occurred. An anesthesia error could have interrupted your original procedure or resulted in other harm that required medical attention. The damage from an anesthesia error will likely lead to additional hospital bills, fees for surgery, medications, and other expenses. Some victims of anesthesia errors may develop permanent disabilities that require ongoing medical care. A plaintiff can claim compensation for all additional medical expenses resulting from an anesthesia error.
  • Lost income. An anesthesia error may have forced you to spend more time out of work than you anticipated, resulting in lost wages. You can claim compensation for lost income, but you may also be able to secure compensation for lost future earning capacity if your anesthesia error resulted in permanent damage that prevents you from working anymore.

Unfortunately, anesthesia errors generally lead to significant injuries, and the pain and suffering and diminished quality of life victims of anesthesia errors often experience is difficult to gauge in monetary figures. Non-economic damages like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life after a catastrophic injury generally represent the most significant damages in these cases.

Some courts will multiply a victim’s medical expenses by a certain number to reflect the physical pain and mental anguish associated with the incident. For example, a plaintiff claiming $25,000 in medical expenses for an anesthesia error may have suffered permanent brain damage, so the jury multiplies this amount by five and awards $125,000 in pain and suffering damages. This is a general example, and catastrophic injuries that result in life-altering medical complications will likely lead to significant amounts of compensation.

For smaller injuries that may heal within a few months, a court may use a “per diem” system instead. Under this system, the jury decides a certain amount and awards the plaintiff that amount for each day he or she spends in recovery. For example, $100 for a 300-day recovery time would equal $30,000 in pain and suffering damages. To learn more about the specific damages applicable to your case, consult a qualified Philadelphia anesthesia error lawyer.

Time Limit for Anesthesia Error Cases in Pennsylvania

An anesthesia error case will fall under medical malpractice law, so a plaintiff must ensure his or her claim meets the state’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for anesthesia errors is two years. This means a plaintiff has two years to take legal action for an anesthesia error beginning on the date the error occurred. However, there may be exceptions to this statute under the discovery rule. If the harm from an anesthesia error does not manifest noticeable symptoms immediately, then the statute of limitations begins on the date the plaintiff discovered the harm or should have discovered it through reasonable diligence.

Types of Anesthesia

There are three main types of anesthesia used in modern medicine: local, regional, and general. Local anesthetic only works on a small portion of the body, such as a finger, hand, or the teeth during a dental procedure. A nurse or physician will typically administer local anesthetic with a syringe. These injections may potentially cause nerve damage if the person performing the injection strikes nerve tissue. Healthcare professionals who fail to properly monitor patients or review their medical histories run the risk of causing allergic reactions or dangerous interactions with other medications a patient takes.

Regional anesthetic works on a larger portion of the body, such as an entire arm, leg, or one side of the torso. A doctor may need to administer this type of anesthesia with a syringe into the spinal column to disperse the medication in the desired part of the body. Any mistakes during such an injection could cause a spinal cord injury, a permanent injury that can impact physical sensations, motor function, or both.

General anesthetic will render a patient completely unconscious. The patient may breathe the anesthesia through a mask or receive an injection so he or she is fully unconscious for complex surgical procedures. Most invasive procedures that involve cutting into the body cavity will require general anesthesia. Cosmetic surgery procedures and other surgeries may also necessitate general anesthesia.

Since patients are unconscious and unresponsive while under the effects of general anesthesia, patient monitoring is crucial. Errors with dosing or failure to properly monitor a patient’s condition may lead to brain damage or a condition known as anesthesia awareness. A patient who experiences this condition will be unable to move or respond or cry out for help but will be aware of the surgery and his or her surroundings and may even feel pain sensations. This experience may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder and a host of other psychological conditions.

Common Mistakes Made by Anesthesiologists

Anesthesia errors happen for many reasons, and some of the most common our Philadelphia anesthesia error attorneys have seen include:

  • Dosage errors. Patients must receive a dose of anesthesia appropriate for their age, weight, and medical status. Anesthesiologists must be careful not to administer too much or little anesthetic for every procedure to limit the risk of patient harm.
  • Poor patient monitoring. Anesthesiologists must pay close attention to a patient’s vital signs during a procedure and adjust additional doses, as necessary.
  • Failing to recognize developing complications. Anesthesiologists need to know how to identify patients in distress and the warning signs of an allergic reaction or other complication during procedures.
  • Failing to monitor patient’s oxygen levels. Some patients may require assistance breathing during surgery, and the anesthesiologist must carefully watch a patient’s vital signs for any indication of respiratory failure or the brain struggling to receive oxygen.
  • Poor preoperative care and advice. Some surgical procedures will require the patient to fast or limit certain foods and beverages for a set time before surgery. Failure to provide these instructions can cause potentially fatal complications during surgery, such as a patient regurgitating food while under the influence of anesthesia and choking.
  • Failure to reposition patients during long procedures. Some surgeries may take several hours to complete, and a patient lying in the prone position may suffer damage to the optic nerve from the pressure, resulting in blindness. Anesthesiologists must periodically reposition patients during long procedures to prevent this from happening.

Individual reactions to anesthesia errors will vary greatly. Some individuals may not notice any harm or damage after an error while others suffer catastrophic and permanently disabling secondary effects. Some of the most common injuries resulting from these errors include:

  • Brain damage from oxygen deprivation, which may lead to cognitive impairment, memory problems, sensory problems, or changes in mood and personality
  • Respiratory problems or damage to the larynx or respiratory system
  • Pneumonia and bacterial infection
  • Tooth damage from negligent intubation
  • Nerve damage
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Heart attacks
  • Anesthesia awareness, an incredibly painful and traumatic experience that can lead to significant damage
  • Death

Free Consultation with a Philadelphia Anesthesia Error Attorney

A medical malpractice claim is a complex civil action that requires testimony from expert witnesses, a review from the appropriate medical board, and a compelling case that shows the full extent of the damages resulting from medical negligence. If you or a loved one recently suffered any type of harm from an anesthesia error, you need a Philadelphia anesthesia error lawyer with the experience and skill to handle your claim and secure compensation for your losses.

The attorneys at Rosenbaum & Associates are keenly familiar with the legal system in the Philadelphia area, and we understand the devastating toll an anesthesia error can take. Contact us today to schedule a free evaluation of your case and we will let you know how our firm can help.