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.
Illinois Medical Malpractice Attorney
The Chicago anesthesia error attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC appreciate the complexities that accompany modern anesthesia techniques, yet are ready to prosecute situations involving permanent injury or death to the fullest extent of 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. Our attorneys have years of experience in holding health care providers accountable for their surgical mistakes.
When you have been injured by medical professionals, you need a surgical error attorney on your side
Anesthesiologists Failing to Monitor Patients During Medical Procedures
As opposed to the type of anesthesia used for the medical procedure, most incidents involving patient injury from anesthesia errors are due to the staff failing to monitor the patient before, during, or after the procedure. Improper ventilation is an example of one of these mistakes as respiratory problems are one of the leading causes of death, serious injury, or brain damage during surgical procedures. These are the result of a surgical error.
Uncovering What Actually Went During a Medical Procedure
The type of anesthesia error may not be apparent, based on the type of injury sustained by the patient. The Chicago anesthesiologist malpractice attorneys
work with some of the leading medical experts to review clients’ medical charts to determine what types of anesthesia errors were made during the surgical procedure.
There are common issues to look at when reviewing an anesthesia error event. 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.
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 Mistakes With Anesthesia
The following conditions have been associated with medication errors and merit further investigation:
- Brain damage
- Heart Attack
- Broken bones
- Asphyxia (stoppage of breathing)
In a study done at Columbia University, 2,211 deaths related to anesthesia
over a six-year period were examined. There was an average of over 300 deaths per year due to 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 may have been an error on the part of the administrating anesthesiologist. Those who do survive an incident may be left with brain damage and other disabling conditions.
If your loved one suffered a serious 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
The victim in this lawsuit was a middle-aged man (40). He had several pre-existing conditions including obesity and problems related to long-term smoking. He entered a hospital in Macon, Illinois to receive treatment for a cyst. Staff put him under general anesthesia, but they used too much. He went into cardiac arrest and died from the incident. The actual cause of death was an anoxic brain injury. Two siblings and his parents survived him. They brought a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital and treating professionals. It alleged preventable surgical error causes his death. Both sides settled privately for $950,000.
$4,200,000 Settlement; Medical Malpractice Lawsuit; Chicago Illinois
The plaintiff's attorneys here argued that the defendants improperly used anesthesia and caused the victim to have a stroke from hypoperfusion. The effects were severe for the woman who was 70 at the time of the procedure. She experienced numbness all the way down one side of her body. Also, she had to use a cane in order to walk after the incident. Plus, she racked up nearly one quarter million dollars in medical bills to correct the issue. The defendants countered that the issue arose when plaque broke free from the carotid artery. They maintained this was a necessary effect of their reasonable efforts. Obviously, the plaintiff disagreed. She filed a medical malpractice case in Cook County, IL. The jury awarded her $4.6 million. In post-trial negotiations, the two sides settled the matter for $4.2 million. These negotiations often take place in order to prevent appeals and to end the litigation. The woman's damages were to compensate her for all the legal costs, 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
The victim in this anesthesia error case was a 59-year-old woman. She presented to a Chicago hospital in 2011 for treatment and care. In the end, she passed away from events that transpired while at the facility allegedly the result of medical malpractice. Her lawyers argued that her death was the result of preventable medical errors when doctors gave her a lethal amount of lidocaine. This was used to anesthetize the area. In their narrative, it forced her into cardiac shock. Then, a brain injury followed, and she died. All the while, the woman's estate piled up $450,000 in hospital bills and medical care, not including burial and funeral expenses. Lawyers for the defendants (hospital, anesthesiologists, etc.) offered a different story. They complained that her obesity, arterial blockage, and renal disease were the culprits for her downfall. To these objections, the plaintiff's lawyers countered nicely with clear-cut failures by the medical staff, including the excessive lidocaine usage. This stark error could not be glossed over. The defendants realized this when they refused to try the matter at court. The woman's estate received $2,250,000. The majority of that came from the facility. The rest of the settlement for the anesthesia error lawsuit came from the doctors.
$3,000,000 Settlement; Surgical Error Malpractice Case; Cook County
The events of this case took place at Stroger Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. The victim was a little girl, just seven months old. She was sick. That's why her parents took her to see the doctor. They felt she had a fever and were having a hard time getting her to eat. Doctors examined her. Her providers though she was okay to be discharged and sent home. Yet, before they did that, they wanted to put a G-Tube down her throat so her parents could feed her easier. The medical staff needed to anesthetize the child in order to accomplish this. During the process of doing this, the tube was placed improperly. The child suffered oxygen deprivation and a traumatic brain injury. She slipped out of consciousness and never recovered. She died just a few weeks after this accident. This was a clear case of medical error. The family sued for medical malpractice and wrongful death in Cook County Court in downtown Chicago. The County Hospital settled for $3 million. This was to cover the family's economic and non-economic damages from the tragedy.
$1,200,000 Jury Award; Surgical Error Case; Chicago, Illinois
The woman at the center of this controversy was 64. She needed a carotid endarterectomy. The physician that was to perform that operation did so in conjunction with an anesthesiologist. The woman's later contended that the anesthesiologist performed negligently and caused her to have shock, seizure, and later death. Both sides offered expert testimony as to the appropriateness or inappropriateness of that doctor's actions. Also, they 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. This error would have prevented all of her calamity they reasoned. 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. Call Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers for Your Free Initial Consultation
If your loved one has been victims of anesthesia errors from a surgical procedure, our experienced Illinois medical negligence attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC would honor the opportunity to speak with you and begin the process of getting answers to these difficult questions.
Unlike other types of medical malpractice cases, Chicago anesthesia error claims may not always be apparent. In fact, medical records and operative reports from most anesthesia error cases must be carefully evaluated before a determination can be made.
Whether you have the surgical care records or not, our lawyers want to help provide you with the answers that you have. Contact us today
to get a free case evaluation and to learn about what help may be available to you and your family.
As with all of our medical malpractice case evaluations, we offer telephone and video conferencing to new and existing clients during the Covid-19 pandemic.