Most patients want anesthesia when they undergo a medical procedure.
Anesthesia prevents patients from feeling pain during a procedure.
Anesthesiologists are physicians who administer anesthesia to patients. Despite being trained and licensed, anesthesiologists sometimes make negligent errors that result in severe injury or even death.
As healthcare providers, anesthesiologists can be liable for medical malpractice.
Patients who bring anesthesiologist malpractice cases will face some obstacles.
Below, we explain some of the most important aspects of proving anesthesiologist malpractice.
Legal Standard for Proving Anesthesiologist Malpractice
For an anesthesiologist negligence lawsuit, a patient must prove four things:
- Duty. The anesthesiologist owed the patient a duty of care, which means they had to treat the patient in the same manner other anesthesiologists would treat a patient in similar circumstances.
- Breach. They breached their duty by failing to do something a reasonable anesthesiologist would have done.
- Causation. This action or failure to act caused harm to the patient.
- Damages. The patient suffered injuries as a result of the breach and harm.
Courts generally define a medical breach of duty as a healthcare provider failing to care for a patient like an average healthcare provider would under similar circumstances.
Types of Anesthesiologist Negligence
Some common types of anesthesiologist malpractice include:
- Intubation error. Being negligent during intubation (putting a tube in the patient’s body to assist with breathing) can damage the teeth, mouth, or lungs and cause breathing issues.
- Wrong anesthesia dosage. Giving a patient too much anesthesia can cause breathing problems or death, while giving too little can cause the patient to wake up during surgery.
- Failure to monitor the patient. An anesthesiologist must closely monitor the patient for complications before, during, and after the procedure.
- Failure to give proper instructions. An anesthesiologist must tell the patient how to prepare for anesthesia.
These are just a few examples of ways an anesthesiologist can be negligent. Consult with our medical malpractice attorneys to discuss the specifics of your case.
Evidence of Anesthesiologist Malpractice
Proving medical malpractice, including anesthesiologist malpractice, takes significant investigation. An attorney can help you gather the following evidence to help prove malpractice.
Your medical records describe what happened during the procedure and should list the different medical providers involved.
Plus, another medical professional can examine the records for evidence of negligence.
Your lawyer will want to speak with the other medical professionals involved.
Sometimes, these medical professionals are not forthcoming because they are afraid or pressured by the hospital’s lawyers. Your lawyer may interview them through a formal legal procedure called a deposition.
Independent Medical Expert
An independent medical expert can examine your records and explain the standard of care the anesthesiologist should have used under the circumstances.
They can also testify about whether your injury was caused by the anesthesiologist’s failure to meet their duty of care.
If the commission finds in your favor, they’ll help you find a good medical expert.
Contact Us About Your Anesthesiologist Malpractice Claim
We are the only law firm in New Mexico that exclusively focuses on medical malpractice.
We have 70-plus years of combined experience in litigating medical malpractice, and we are one of the only law firms in New Mexico with a doctor and nurse on staff.
Contact us today online or by phone to find out how we can help you.