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Anesthesia is a very precise medical science that requires a specially trained doctor. 

While doctors are usually deserving of our trust and work to a high standard of care, they aren’t always putting their patients first. When an anesthesiologist behaves negligently, the results can be fatal.

If you have been the victim of a medication error in the administration of anesthesia, contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today. Our medical malpractice lawyers will discuss your case during a free consultation where we’ll determine how we can best help you get the maximum compensation. 

Call us today at (561) 655-1990.

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A Broward County jury awarded Denise and David Brown $35 million in a case against North Broward Hospital District, doing business at Broward General Hospital.


A Broward County jury awarded Denise and David Brown $35 million in a case against North Broward Hospital District, doing business at Broward General Hospital.


A Broward County jury awarded Denise and David Brown $35 million in a case against North Broward Hospital District, doing business at Broward General Hospital.

What are anesthesia errors?

Doctor preparing anesthesia medication for a surgeryAnesthesia errors can result in patients waking up on the table during a procedure, negative reactions to medication, or even patients perishing due to improper dosing.

When things go wrong with anesthesia, the anesthesiologist is typically to blame. These are licensed doctors who specialize in administering the three types of anesthesia: local anesthesia that numbs pain, general anesthesia that renders patients unconscious, and regional anesthesia to numb a specific region of the body.

Since it takes about 12 years to become a fully accredited anesthesiologist, it is considered one of the most difficult fields of medicine in the world. It is also one of the most dangerous since the side effects include coma and death. 

During a procedure, anesthesiologists are responsible for administering the medication, monitoring the patient to ensure that there are no adverse effects, and documenting the drugs used to keep a record of what happened during the surgery. They must be aware of the patient’s full history with anesthesia and any allergies to safely do their job.

Common Medication Errors in Anesthesia

The most common types of medication errors in administering anesthesia are:

Distracted Doctor

Anesthesiologists must be constantly attentive during surgery, even though they aren’t the ones performing the operation themselves. Throughout the process, they must be monitoring the patient’s vitals. If the doctor is distracted or impaired, the person could wake during surgery or have a negative reaction that leads to death.

Incorrect Dosage

If doctors do not give the patient the proper dosage of the anesthesia, this medication error can result in the person not going under or slipping into a coma due to too much medication in the body. Additionally, the doctor could use the wrong type of anesthesia which could cause a negative reaction.

Errors in Judgment

If the doctor does not double-check their work because they are exhausted or rushed by hospital proceedings, they could show an error in judgment that could injure the patient. The person may overdose on anesthesia, wake during the surgery, or have a serious reaction to the drug.

Improper Procedure

Procedure is in place to ensure that patients are getting the right treatment by the right doctors. Sometimes procedures are performed on the incorrect patient, which leads to a patient suffering from the anesthesia they unnecessarily received. Similarly, if a doctor doesn’t follow hospital guidelines to check for paperwork mishaps, this can lead to injury.

Failure to Check a Patient’s Records

A common medical malpractice mistake made by doctors leads to them missing allergies or medications that might interact with other drugs like anesthesia.

Common Injuries Resulting from Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia can cause minor or severe injuries in patients who receive a medication error during their dose. Some common injuries our clients have experienced include:

  • Feeling discomfort in the applied area
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Digestion issues
  • Dizziness
  • Heart rate or breathing changes
  • Fainting
  • Paralysis
  • Coma
  • Temporary or permanent brain damage
  • Death

Medical Malpractice and Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia errors are a form of medical malpractice, where a doctor does not provide their patient the right standard of care. Through negligent actions, the doctor ends up causing them significant injuries.

Doctors must be held responsible for their negligent actions. That is why it’s important to file a medical malpractice claim. By doing so, you can recover damages you lost due to the injuries you suffered, such as the medical bills you had to pay for the initial surgery and for any subsequent surgeries you may have needed afterward.

Additionally, filing a medical malpractice lawsuit warns other doctors against making the same mistake. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we believe that every case we win makes our community safer for us all.


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