When people undergo surgical procedures, they are typically given anesthesia. While anesthesia is critical for maintaining a patient's comfort and safety, it is not without risk. When anesthesia is improperly administered, it can cause severe harm, and in some cases, the harm may be fatal. If you suffered injuries because of an anesthesia error, you should consult an attorney to discuss whether you may be able to recover compensation from the party that caused your harm. The knowledgeable Boca Raton anesthesia error lawyers at The Grife Law Firm have the experience required to help you prove that your care provider caused your harm. We frequently assist patients injured by anesthesia errors in cities throughout South Florida.Common Anesthesia Errors
Anesthesiologists are required to administer an appropriate dose of anesthesia and carefully monitor a patient who is anesthetized. Anesthesia errors can happen when the anesthesiologist does not fully obtain or assess a patient's medical history and fails to adjust the type of anesthesia or the manner in which it is administered to prevent complications. Errors also can arise when an anesthesiologist administers too little of the drug, which can result in pain or conscious memories of a surgical procedure. Meanwhile, if a doctor administers too much anesthesia, it can cause breathing problems, brain damage, and sometimes even death. An anesthesiologist may also inadvertently harm a patient's esophagus, trachea, or mouth during the process of intubating or extubating the patient.Proving Liability for Harm Caused by Anesthesia Errors
In Florida, many cases arising out of anesthesia errors assert claims against both the anesthesiologist who administered the anesthesia and the hospital where the procedure was performed. To establish that an anesthesiologist should be held liable for a plaintiff’s harm, an anesthesia error attorney in Boca Raton must prove that the anesthesiologist committed professional negligence. Professional negligence consists of certain elements. First, the plaintiff must show that the doctor had a duty to provide the same treatment and care that a reasonable doctor practicing in the same specialty would provide in a similar situation. Then, the plaintiff must show that the doctor departed from the standard of care. Finally, the plaintiff must show that the departure caused him or her to suffer measurable harm. In most cases, the plaintiff will be required to retain an expert to establish the standard of care, causation, and the extent of the plaintiff’s harm.
Whether a hospital can be held accountable for injuries caused by an anesthesia error depends to an extent on the nature of the relationship between the hospital and the anesthesiologist. A plaintiff seeking damages from a hospital often will assert that the hospital is liable for his or her harm under a theory of vicarious liability. Essentially, a vicarious liability claim alleges that the hospital employed the negligent anesthesiologist, and thus the hospital should be held accountable for any harm caused by the anesthesiologist in the course and scope of his or her employment. A plaintiff and their Boca Raton anesthesia error attorney may also allege that the hospital negligently hired or supervised the anesthesiologist. In other words, the plaintiff may argue that the hospital is directly responsible for the plaintiff’s harm, due to the hospital’s failure to thoroughly vet and supervise the negligent anesthesiologist.
A plaintiff pursuing claims against a hospital will need to establish the standard of care that applies to the hospital. Pursuant to Florida Statute 766.102(7), in a medical malpractice claim against a hospital, a person may testify as an expert on the standard that applies to non-clinical and administrative issues if the person has sufficient knowledge, gained through training and experience, of the standard of care that applies to the same type of hospital in a similar community.Meet with a South Florida Attorney to Discuss an Anesthesia Error Case
Surgical procedures present inherent risks, but patients should be able to undergo surgery without suffering harm due to incorrectly administered anesthesia. If you sustained injuries due to an anesthesia error, you should speak with an attorney regarding your claims against the parties that caused your harm. The seasoned attorneys at The Grife Law Firm assist patients in medical malpractice cases in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and West Palm Beach. You can contact us through our online form or at 855-998-0770 to schedule a complimentary and confidential case evaluation with an anesthesia error lawyer in Boca Raton.