Anesthesia Error Malpractice Attorney: Chicago, Illinois
Countless surgeries and medical procedures are effectively performed every day, thanks to the use of modern anesthesia. Anesthesiologists may use general anesthesia, local anesthesia, regional anesthesia, or spinal anesthesia to sedate the patient and control pain during open and laparoscopic surgery. Deciding on the type of anesthesia is a decision for the surgeon and anesthesiologist.
In some cases, the anesthesiologist or surgeon fails to follow established protocols or choose the correct type of anesthesia to use, resulting in severe injury or wrongful death.
Illinois Medical Malpractice Attorney Pursuing Anesthesia Mistakes
The Chicago anesthesia error attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC appreciate the complexities that accompany modern anesthesia techniques yet are fully ready to prosecute situations involving permanent injury or death under Illinois medical malpractice law. We invite you to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer at our office for a free consultation regarding your legal options.
When medical professionals have injured you, you need a surgical error attorney on your side. Our law office has years of experience in holding health care providers accountable for their surgical mistakes.
Our Chicago anesthesia error malpractice attorneys currently represent clients throughout the United States, Illinois, and in Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Winnebago County, and Peoria County.
Anesthesiologists Failing to Monitor Patients During Medical Procedures
Most incidents involving patient injury from anesthesia errors are due to the staff failing to monitor the patient before, during, or after the medical procedure. Improper ventilation and respiratory problems are the two leading surgical error causes of death, serious injury, or brain damage during surgical procedures.
Anesthesia Error Malpractice FAQs
How do You Know if You're Allergic to Anesthesia?
Unfortunately, there is no way to test for an allergic response to anesthetic medications before you take it in regular or small doses. The anesthetic agents in the medication tend to cause an allergic reaction that could be a simple, manageable rash to life-threatening anaphylactic shock.
In sporadic cases, people will respond with malignant hypothermia as a rare condition after taking the medication.
Why Does it Take so Long to Wake up From Anesthesia?
Waking up from anesthesia affects different people differently. There are various patient factors, the type of medication you took, painful stimulation, and the duration of their surgery.
Typically, the extent of time it takes to wake up is due to the anesthetic agents and drugs that the anesthesiologists gave the patient during the peri-operative time.
What are the Symptoms of too Much Anesthesia?
Anesthesia overdose produces various common side effects that could include respiratory distress, vomiting, nausea, seizures, hallucinations, hypothermia, dementia, physical impairment, mental impairment, and prolonged unconsciousness.
Can You Have a Delayed Allergic Reaction to Anesthesia?
Having an allergic reaction to anesthetic medications does happen, but it is infrequent. Delayed reactions are even rarer. An estimated one out of every 10,000 cases experience an allergic reaction to anesthesia. Typically, a delayed reaction does not create long-term problems. Most anesthesiologists have received training to recognize the common signs of an allergic reaction quickly.
What are the Side Effects of too Much Anesthesia?
Generally, patients who experienced an allergic reaction to anesthetic medications will have noticeable symptoms that include a rash, hives, coughing, mild shortness of breath, swelling around the lips, eyes, or face (angioedema), itchy skin, and a mild drop in blood pressure.
How Long Does it Take for General Anesthesia to get out of Your System?
Generally, the body can take more than a week to eliminate all drugs, including those used for anesthesia from the body. However, most of the noticeable effects of taking anesthetic medications are no longer detectable after approximately twenty-four hours.
Uncovering What Went During a Medical Procedure
An anesthesia error may not be apparent, based on the type of injury sustained by the patient. The Chicago anesthesiologist malpractice attorneys work with leading medical experts to review clients' medical charts to determine what types of anesthesia errors were made during the surgical procedure.
Most severe surgical error incidents with anesthesiologists have been attributed to respiratory complications in the patient. The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) compiles data on closed malpractice claims in an attempt to learn and improve anesthesiology standards and lower the rate of surgical errors.
This data shows that respiratory events in death and brain damage cases were the most common, making up 45% of the malpractice claims. Cardiac events, such as a heart attack, followed up in the medical malpractice claim category comprising 25% of claims made.
Possibility of Medical Mistakes With Anesthesia
The following conditions have been associated with medication errors and merit further investigation:
- Brain damage
- Heart Attack
- Paralysis involving spinal cord damage
- Broken bones
- Asphyxia (stoppage of breathing)
A Columbia University study revealed 2,211 deaths related to anesthesia over a six-year period that were examined. An average of over 300 deaths per year was caused by anesthesia errors or as a primary or contributing factor.
The main reasons found for the deaths were as follows:
- 46.6% from an overdose of anesthetics
- 42.5% of adverse effects from anesthetics in the therapeutic use
- 3.6% during pregnancy and labor
- 7.3% were from other complications
Although fatalities are relatively rare from anesthesia- it does happen. This study showed that the most common cause of death was an overdose, which might have been an error on the part of the administrating anesthesiologist monitoring vital signs.
Those who do survive an incident are often left with brain damage and other disabling conditions. If your loved one suffered a severe complication during surgery and you have questions about your legal rights, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC today for a free case review.
Sample Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Verdicts & Settlements Involving Anesthesiologists
$950,000 Settlement; Malpractice Negligence, Wrongful Death Case; Macon County, Illinois
A forty-year-old man with several pre-existing conditions, including obesity and long-term smoking problems, entered a Macon, Illinois hospital to receive treatment for a cyst. The medical team placed the middle-aged patient under general anesthesia but used too much, causing life-threatening complications.
The result of the medical malpractice mistake caused him to experience cardiac arrest before he died from the incident. Medical professionals listed the cause of death as anoxic brain injury.
His surviving parents and two siblings filed a civil lawsuit citing medical malpractice and wrongful death against the treating professionals and the hospital. The plaintiff's' attorney alleged preventable surgical errors caused the man's death. Both parties settled privately for $950,000.
$4,200,000 Settlement; Medical Malpractice Lawsuit; Chicago Illinois
A seventy-year-old patient experienced numbness down one side of the body after undergoing the procedure. Her attorney stated that the medical professionals improperly used anesthesia and cause the victim to have a stroke from hypoperfusion.
Afterward, she needed a cane to walk. While healing, the victim generated more than $250,000 in medical expenses to correct the medical malpractice issue. The defendants countered the attorneys' claims stating that the problem arose when plaque broke free from the carotid artery.
The medical team maintained that this is simply a common side effect of their reasonable efforts. The woman filed a medical malpractice case in Cook County, Illinois. The case went to trial, and the jury awarded her $4.6 million.
However, afterward, the defense attorneys negotiated a post-trial out-of-court settlement for $4.2 million to stop the appeal process and in the litigation. The victim received compensation for legal expenses, medical bills, long-term pain, disability, lost sense of normalcy, and related tangible and intangible harms that arose from the medical negligence.
$2,250,000 Settlement; Medical Malpractice Lawsuit; Cook County, Illinois
A fifty-nine-year-old woman appeared at the Chicago hospital to receive treatment and care but passed away allegedly from medical malpractice. The attorney for her estate claim that the victim died from an anesthesia error.
The legal documents argued that her death was the result of preventable medical errors when doctors gave her a lethal dose of lidocaine uses an anesthetic. The attorney's narrative stated that the medication put her into cardiac shock.
The shock led to a brain injury and later a wrongful death. The attorneys handling her case were facing $450,000 in medical care and hospital bills, not including funeral and burial expenses.
The defendants' lawyers representing the hospital, medical team, and anesthesiologist told a different story. The medical professionals complained that her obesity, arterial blockage, and renal disease were the culprits for her downfall.
The plaintiffs objected to the defendant's' story, countering that there were clear cut failures by the medical staff, including the excessive use of lidocaine. The defendants realized their weak case in chose to negotiate a settlement with the plaintiff.
Both the plaintiff and defendants agreed to a negotiated $2,250,000, with much of the settlement being paid by the hospital and the remainder from the doctor's charged with the anesthesia error.
$3,000,000 Settlement; Surgical Error Malpractice Case; Cook County
The surgical error malpractice case involved parents who took their sick seven-month girl to the Chicago Stroger Hospital to see a doctor. The parents stated that the child had a fever and was not wanting to eat.
Upon examination, the doctors anesthetized her to place a feeding tube (G-tube) down her throat. The doctors told the parents their little girl was okay, discharge, and sent her home with the feeding tube inserted.
Unfortunately, while the child was anesthetized, the feeding tube was placed improperly, causing the girl to suffer oxygen deprivation and traumatic brain injury. She slipped out of consciousness and never recovered, dying a few weeks after the accident.
The family sued the facility and medical team for medical malpractice and wrongful death in Cook County Court in downtown Chicago. The County Hospital settled for $3 million to pay for the family's economic and non-economic damages from the tragedy.
$1,200,000 Jury Award; Surgical Error Case; Chicago, Illinois
The sixty-four-year-old female patient requires a carotid endarterectomy performed by a surgeon and an anesthesiologist. The woman later contended that the anesthesiologist performed negligently and caused her to experience shock and seizures. She ultimately succumbed to her condition.
The woman's estate filed a civil lawsuit against the defendants. Both sides offered expert testimony as to the appropriateness or inappropriateness of the doctors' actions.
Also, both sides combated over whether the anesthesiologist was to blame for the woman's spiraling health and ultimate passing. The plaintiff's attorneys answered that question affirmatively.
As proof of his responsibility, the plaintiff's lawyers claimed he negligently put the local anesthesia into the bloodstream instead of into the skin. The plaintiff reasoned that the error would have prevented all her calamity and wrongful death.
The defense denied this chain of logic and offered, in the alternative, that a pulmonary embolism was to blame. In the end, both sides could not agree to settle, and they took their claims to court.
An Illinois jury found for the plaintiffs and awarded each of the surviving three family members $400,000 for lost society.
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Hiring a Chicago Anesthesia Error Malpractice Lawyer
Unlike other types of medical malpractice cases, Chicago anesthesia error claims may not always be apparent. Medical records and operative reports from most anesthesia error cases must be carefully evaluated before a determination can be made.
If your loved one is a victim of anesthesia errors from a surgical procedure or in a nursing home, our experienced Illinois medical negligence attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can help. Whether you have the surgical care records or not, our Chicago anesthesia error lawyers want to help provide you with the answers that you have.
Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to get a free case evaluation and to learn about what help may be available to you and your family. All discussions you have with our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys will remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
Please do not send sensitive information to our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers in a text message, email, or voicemail. As with all our medical malpractice case evaluations, we offer telephone and video conferencing to new and existing clients during the Covid-19 pandemic.