Anesthesia Errors



Anesthesia errors are among the most dangerous medical malpractice claims because negligence can cause brain damage or death. The three categories in which anesthesia errors can occur are the timing and amount of anesthesia administered, monitoring of the patient, and mechanical error.




If a patient receives too much anesthesia during an operation, serious side effects like dementia, mental or physical impairment, hallucinations, or respiratory distress may be a result. However, an insufficient amount of anesthesia can lead to anesthesia awareness-a condition where the patient is unable to communicate or move but feels pain. Similar reactions can take place when the anesthesiologist administers the medication too late.

Many medical malpractice cases regarding anesthesia errors occur when the anesthesiologist neglects to monitor the patient for any reason. Before surgery begins, anesthesia error can occur by neglecting to inform the patient of the necessary preparation. Some of the most common claims are the doctor failing to consult the patient’s medical records and allergies, resulting in an allergic reaction to the anesthesia. Neglect of medical records may also result in a harmful reaction when the anesthesia reacts to the patient’s current medication. If you think your doctor has wrongfully prescribed medication, you can file a claim regarding medication errors.


Mechanical error also falls under the realm of malpractice. Doctors are responsible for ensuring their equipment is safe and functioning for any procedure, so if anesthesia is mislabeled or the machine does not properly administer the correct amount, a medical malpractice claim is warranted. When this happens, the patient can hire a medical malpractice attorney to hold the doctors and hospital responsible for any damages.

As with all medical malpractice cases, your anesthesia error claim must meet the necessary standards. First, you must show that there was a patient-doctor relationship between yourself and the physician in question. Next, you must be able to prove that there was a violation of the standard of care and a reasonable doctor would not have made the same error. You must also prove that there was serious injuries or consequences due to the mistake of the doctor.

FAQs About Your

Medical Malpractice Case

How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?
Medical Malpractice is a form of professional negligence that can be committed by any medical professional who is involved in giving care to a patient. To prove medical malpractice, a claimant must show that a doctor-patient relationship existed, that the professional violated the standard of care, and an injury resulted from that violation.    
What is “informed consent” and how does this relate to malpractice?
In Rhode Island, informed consent refers to the conversation a medical professional has with their patient when they explain the proposed course of treatment and its risks. The physician must also offer information for alternative treatments and/or the option of not treating a specific illness. Rhode Island requires a five-part test to decide if there is validity in a medical malpractice case surrounding a lack of informed consent. This test includes: the physician’s explanation of risk was inadequate, the risk was known and withheld by the physician, the risk was a valid concern, and the injury in question was caused by this undisclosed risk.
How can a jury determine if a physician’s actions were negligent?
All medical professionals are expected to abide by a standard of care. A judge is responsible for questions of law. A juror is a trier of fact. While a jury listens to an entire trial, their job is to take the law as described to them by the judge and apply all of the facts and information that were relayed to them through testimony throughout the trial. A jury is then responsible for rendering a verdict based on the law given to them during jury instructions by the judge and their opinion a to whether or not the case presented by the plaintiff meets or exceeds the standard of law as defined by the judge of negligence by the medical professional.
What are examples of medical malpractice?
A licensed medical professional's actions that fall below the standard of care include failure to diagnose/misdiagnosis, failure to order proper testing, failure to recognize symptoms, misreading/ignoring laboratory results, surgical errors or wrong-site surgery, improper medication/dosages, unnecessary surgery, poor follow-up or aftercare, premature discharge, or disregarding or not taking an appropriate patient history.  
How much time do I have to start my case?
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Rhode Island is up to three years after the discovery of their medical condition. In Massachusetts, patients are given up to three years from the discovery date if they would not have reasonably known of the malpractice. In Connecticut, patients are given up to two years to file their case.
Do I have any medical rights?
You have the right to:
  • Access information regarding your case that is accurate, easy to understand, and in your language.
  • Access any assistance you may need to understand your medical information.
  • Be involved in decisions regarding your medical treatment.
  • Receive respectful care from any medical professional.
  • Confidentiality regarding your medical care and treatments.
  • Read and copy your medical records to ensure accuracy.
  • File a complaint against any medical staff who treats you.

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