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Washington D.C. Anesthesia Malpractice Lawyer

Doctor is preparing anesthesia to patient.

Healthcare professionals routinely use anesthesia for medical procedures without issues. But what happens when it isn’t done correctly and a patient suffers an injury as a result? Administering anesthetics is a delicate process. The consequences of a single anesthesia error can cause serious injuries – or even death.

If you have suffered injuries due to anesthesia-related malpractice, you could be eligible for compensation from a medical malpractice claim. But before you can claim the money you deserve, you need an advocate who understands both law and medicine. You need help from Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D., whose medical and legal degrees from Georgetown University give him the experience to handle these complex cases from every angle. Contact our firm today to learn more in a free consultation session.

What Are Common Types of Anesthesia?

According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), healthcare professionals recognize four main categories of anesthesia:

  • General anesthesia – Under general anesthesia, you are entirely unconscious. The anesthetic substance is usually administered via a breathing tube, mask, or IV.
  • Regional anesthesia – For this form of anesthesia, an anesthesiologist injects the anesthetic near nerves that affect the body part that needs to be numb for the surgery or other procedure.
  • Sedation – Sometimes referred to as “twilight” or “conscious” sedation, this type of anesthesia is usually administered by IV to make patients feel drowsy and relaxed. Patients are not fully unconscious under sedation as they are with general anesthesia.
  • Local anesthesia – Local anesthetic is usually injected or applied topically to numb a small area for a brief procedure. Lidocaine is a common local anesthetic.

Are Anesthesiologists Required to Have Specific Training?

An anesthesiologist is a highly trained doctor who specializes in administering anesthesia. Physician anesthesiologists must complete at least eight years of medical school and training after college. Following residency, an anesthesiologist might also complete an additional fellowship year in a specialty focus – such as pain management or critical care medicine.

What Are Some Common Anesthesia Errors?

Anesthesia errors can occur before or during a medical care procedure. An anesthesiologist could harm a patient if they fail to thoroughly review their medical records for any current medications or conditions that could make the anesthesia unsafe. Or they could improperly administer anesthesia during the procedure by giving too much or the wrong medication.

Other common errors that occur due to anesthesiologist negligence include:

  • Failure to properly monitor patients under anesthesia
  • Delayed administration of anesthesia
  • Dangerously prolonged anesthetic sedation
  • Failure to respond to anesthesia complications

How Do Anesthesia Errors Happen?

Even the best, most highly trained doctors are not immune to human error. Several preventable issues could result in an anesthesia error, including:

  • Lack of overall experience
  • Unfamiliarity with equipment
  • Inattention or haste
  • Lack of appropriate staff
  • Poor communication
  • Failure to follow protocols
  • General fatigue

What Are Some of the Results of Anesthesia Errors?

Anesthesia errors can have severe or even deadly repercussions. Common consequences of anesthesia errors include:

In some cases, patients might also experience a condition called anesthesia awareness. This occurs when a patient’s anesthetic dosage is incorrect, leaving them unable to speak but still aware of their surroundings. The patient could even feel pain. Anesthesia awareness can be incredibly traumatizing, possibly resulting in future emotional problems like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or heightened anxiety.

Is Anesthesia Error Considered Medical Malpractice?

An anesthesia error could be an example of malpractice. If you get hurt by an anesthesia error, you could be entitled to compensation for a medical malpractice claim. A Washington D.C. anesthesia malpractice lawyer from The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates can review your case and help you understand your legal options after an anesthesia error.

medical malpractice case

What Is the Average Anesthesia Malpractice Settlement?

According to one study, settled anesthesia malpractice claims from a recent five-year period yielded average payouts of $354,038. But the value of a given anesthesia malpractice case depends on the severity of the patient’s injuries. A medical malpractice lawyer can pursue compensation for all the losses a patient suffers due to an anesthesia error. This could include payment for:

  • Necessary medical care treatment stemming from the anesthesia error
  • Lost wages from any time missed at work due to the anesthesia error
  • Losses in future earning capacity due to permanent malpractice injuries
  • Subjective losses like pain, suffering, and lost quality of life

Is There a Deadline for Filing an Anesthesia Malpractice Lawsuit in Washington, D.C.?

Before filing an anesthesia malpractice lawsuit in court, you must notify the medical care provider of your intent to sue. D.C. law requires you to notify any provider you plan to sue within 90 days before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Your notice must include information on the legal basis for your claim, including details about the injuries and other losses you sustained.

The legal time limit for medical malpractice lawsuits in Washington, D.C. is usually three years, though certain exceptions apply. If you do not file your suit by the appropriate deadline, you could lose your right to pursue compensation for your losses.

Due to the complex nature of anesthesia malpractice cases, it is best to contact a skilled lawyer as soon as possible after an anesthesia error. A lawyer can handle all the legal requirements and filing deadlines for your case so you can focus on healing from your injuries.

Contact a Washington, D.C. Medical Malpractice Lawyer

The legal professionals at The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates have the multi-faceted background to pursue your anesthesia malpractice lawsuit. We handle all types of medical malpractice cases and have vast experience helping people like you get the money they deserve from the physicians who hurt them. Dr. Wilson knows how to approach your situation from a physician’s perspective to build the strongest case possible on your behalf. Contact our firm today to learn more in a free case evaluation.

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