Who Is Liable for an Anesthesia Error?


Anesthesia errors can have serious, even deadly, consequences, and it is important to understand who may be liable when they occur. Generally speaking, any licensed health care provider involved in the process of administering anesthesia may potentially be held responsible for an anesthesia error.

This includes anesthesiologists, nurses, surgeons, and other medical professionals who are present during the surgery. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the error and which professionals were involved, multiple parties may be held accountable for negligence or malpractice. In situations where an anesthesiologist is employed by an entity such as a hospital, then that entity may also be held liable.

Anesthesia & Its Potential Complications

Before anesthesia, there was no comparable method to put a patient in an unconscious state before performing surgery. As you might imagine, it was heralded as something akin to a miracle when doctors figured out how to do it.

Today, anesthesia typically has three different forms. General anesthesia involves putting a patient in a completely unconscious state; regional anesthesia treats only a specific part of the body; and local anesthesia is applied to a much smaller area of the body.

Despite decades of developing the science and practice of anesthesia, however, it’s not without its risks.

Complications & Injuries from Anesthesia

When negligently administered, anesthesia can result in the following complications and injuries:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Delirium and mental confusion
  • Anesthesia awareness (awaking during operation)
  • Post-operative pain
  • Chipped or loosened teeth (from intubation during an operation)
  • Sore throat or damaged larynx
  • Serious allergic reactions
  • Pneumonia
  • Brain damage from hypoxia (lack of oxygen)
  • Nerve damage
  • Blood clots
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Death

As demonstrated here, there are many different types of injuries and complications that can result from an anesthesia error. While many of the most severe of these are rare, they do occur, and those responsible can be held liable for medical malpractice.

Contact the Law Office of David Kates for Legal Assistance

If you or a loved one were injured as a result of an anesthesia error, it’s important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. You have a limited time to file your claim, and our experienced attorney at the Law Office of David Kates can provide the personalized guidance you need to seek meaningful compensation for your injuries.

Learn more during a free consultation with us today. Contact the Law Office of David Kates now to get started!