Have you suffered an anesthesia injury like a stroke or brain damage? If your injury was caused by an anesthesia mistake, you may be entitled to compensation.
Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC has a proven track record of securing life-changing settlements for our clients. We will fight to do the same for you. Contact a Houston anesthesia injury lawyer for a free consultation to review your legal options.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help with an Anesthesia Injury Claim
When you suffer an anesthesia injury, you may be facing a lengthy and complicated fight with an insurance company to recover compensation. Medical malpractice claims are notoriously complex and require in-depth investigations to uncover evidence.
A Houston personal injury lawyer experienced in handling medical malpractice claims can be invaluable in protecting your claim and your legal rights.
Not all personal injury law firms in Houston are the same. Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC has earned a reputation for handling large and high-profile personal injury claims with many of our cases coming from referrals and other attorneys.
Brian White is board certified in personal injury trial law. This Texas Board of Legal Specialization is a qualification just 3% of lawyers can claim. Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC offers a winning track record, financial strength, and decades of experience as we fight for the full compensation you deserve.
When you choose Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC to represent you during your claim, you can count on us to:
- Conduct a thorough investigation of your case
- Gather and analyze evidence to show how your injuries occurred and who was responsible
- Consult with medical experts to demonstrate the standard of care in your case, how the medical professional deviated, and the injuries you sustained as a result
- Negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company to reach a fair settlement
- Take your case to court if the insurance company won’t settle
The experienced Houston medical malpractice lawyers at Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC will put you first with a proven track record of recovering compensation for our clients. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with a Houston personal injury lawyer who will fight for you.
What Is Medical Malpractice in Houston?
Anesthesia errors are a type of medical malpractice. In Texas, medical professionals, including physicians and anesthesiologists, owe patients a duty of care. When a physician or medical professional breaches this duty through negligence or error, they have committed medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice is different than an unsatisfactory outcome from a procedure. Medical professionals owe a duty to conform to a standard of care that protects patients from unreasonable risk. A physician is expected to provide the level of care that another reasonable physician in a similar situation would provide.
You may have a claim of medical malpractice if you suffer an injury when an anesthesiologist makes an error during your treatment. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Houston, TX can help you explore your legal options and determine if you have a viable claim.
What Causes Anesthesia Injuries?
According to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), there were 98,500 medical malpractice claims between 2005 and 2013. Of these, 2,700 involved anesthesia errors. Almost 38% of claims involved the death of a patient due to an anesthesia mistake.
Medical malpractice comes in many forms. One of the most serious errors involves anesthesia. When a trained anesthesiologist makes a mistake, it can have long-lasting or even devastating consequences for patients.
Anesthesia errors are usually the result of improper training or poor communication. A communication breakdown can occur at many stages of treatment and cause errors such as:
- Intubation mistakes
- Airway obstruction
- Interactions with other medications
- Failing to adequately monitor a patient’s vitals while under anesthesia
- Dangerous amount of time under anesthesia
- Failure to identify conditions that increase the risk of anesthesia like obstructive sleep apnea
Anesthesia errors do not only occur in operating rooms. They may also happen during pre-op or recovery. For example, an anesthesiologist may fail to warn a patient not to eat or drink before the surgery.
During surgery, the anesthesiologist’s main job is ensuring the brain receives a constant flow of oxygen-rich blood. The anesthesiologist must also monitor the patient’s vitals to watch for signs of serious reactions to the anesthesia, that the patient is becoming conscious, or that their heart rate is dropping too low.
Anesthesia is considered one of the safest areas of medicine and risks have dropped dramatically over the last several decades. However, that means that most anesthesia injuries that occur are due to human error.
The Consequences of Houston Anesthesia Injuries
Anesthesia is designed to put a patient to sleep, keep them immobile, and numb any pain they would otherwise experience during surgery. Most anesthesia malpractice claims involve something going wrong with one of these three goals.
A patient should be unconscious, but not given so much medication as to pose a danger. An anesthesiologist is trained to administer the correct amount of medication to keep the patient unconscious but not enough to reduce their heart rate to a dangerous level or make it impossible to wake them up. However, enough must be administered to ensure the patient remains unconscious during the procedure.
Too little anesthesia can allow a patient to wake up during their surgery and experience psychological trauma or feel the procedure.
Too much anesthesia is, of course, equally dangerous. Improper administration of anesthesia can result in prolonged or permanent loss of sensation. It can even cause long-term neurological symptoms and even death.
During the procedure, the anesthesiologist must monitor the patient’s vital signs carefully and ensure they receive oxygen through a mask or breathing tube. If this oxygen delivery is interrupted, the patient may experience hypoxia, brain damage, or death.
Anesthesia injuries and serious complications can include:
- Postoperative delirium or cognitive dysfunction which can result in long-term memory problems
- Malignant hyperthermia, a potentially fatal reaction to anesthesia that happens quickly
- Breathing problems which can make it difficult to regain consciousness
- Brain damage caused by insufficient oxygen supply to the brain
- Cardiovascular issues
- Permanent nerve damage
Sadly, harm from an anesthesia mistake is often permanent or it takes a long time to recover. Victims of anesthesia errors can be left with intensive medical needs after surgery.
If you have suffered a serious injury or complication due to anesthesia and believe it was caused by an anesthesiologist’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced anesthesia malpractice lawyer in Houston can help you determine if you have a claim.
Proving Liability in an Anesthesia Injury Case
Not all medical errors rise to the level of negligence needed to prove a medical malpractice claim. It isn’t enough for an anesthesiologist to make an error; you must prove four critical elements of your claim.
A successful medical malpractice claim requires proving:
- There was an existing doctor-patient relationship that established the anesthesiologist’s duty of care to you
- The healthcare professional breached their duty of care
- You suffered actual injury
- Your injury was caused by the misconduct or mistake
Depending on the details of your case, your anesthesiologist or CRNA may be liable for your injuries. You may also have a claim against the hospital and other medical professionals involved in your treatment.
Building evidence to prove a medical malpractice claim is notoriously challenging, however. Your Houston anesthesiologist malpractice lawyer will help you gather evidence and investigate your case to determine who can be held responsible for the injuries you have sustained.
What Damages Are Available in an Anesthesia Injury Claim?
In many cases, anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthesiologists (CRNAs) are independent, licensed medical professionals who contract with hospitals to provide their services. They generally carry their own medical malpractice insurance. Your anesthesia injury claim may be filed against the anesthesiologist and potentially the hospital and surgical staff as well.
An anesthesia mistake can be life-changing and leave you with physical, cognitive, and emotional effects. You may require extensive medical treatment and even be left unable to work. You may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages for the injuries you have sustained.
Your Houston medical malpractice lawyer will seek a range of damages to compensate you for your injuries. Common damages that may be available in your case include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Therapy and rehabilitation
- Reduced earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Anesthesia errors often result in the patient’s death. If you have lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Note that Texas caps non-economic damages at $250,000 in medical malpractice claims. If your claim involves multiple health care institutions, your damages are capped at $500,000 with no single institution being liable for more than $250,000. Non-economic damages are those that compensate for psychological or emotional damages without an intrinsic financial value.
Statute of Limitations to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in Texas
Under Texas law, you have a limited time to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. The statute of limitations on medical malpractice is just two years from the date of the injury. If your claim is not filed before this deadline, you lose your legal right to recover compensation.
Do not make the mistake of delaying in pursuing your claim, however. The longer you wait, the easier it will be for evidence to disappear. This can damage the strength of your claim. Contact an experienced anesthesia injury lawyer in Houston as soon as possible to begin gathering and preserving evidence.
Contact a Houston Anesthesia Injury Lawyer Today
Have you suffered serious complications or injuries from anesthesia due to medical negligence? You should not be worried about financial uncertainty and battling an insurance company for fair compensation. The legal team at Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC is here to fight for you.
Schedule a free case review today with a Houston anesthesia injury lawyer to begin reviewing your legal options. You do not pay any attorney’s fees unless we recover for you!