When people go to the doctor to have a surgical procedure, they are often nervous no matter how routine the matter may be. Doctors and medical care providers undergo serious amounts of education and training in order to render safe and appropriate care, but sometimes mistakes still happen, including careless mistakes that could have been avoided with due care and attention. This can lead to serious injuries or even fatalities in certain situations. Some of the most common medical mistake are anesthesia errors, which can involve situations where the anesthesiologist fails to administer the right amount of anesthesia during a procedure. If you or a family member have been harmed as result of an anesthesia error, you may be entitled to damages, and a skilled Massachusetts medical malpractice attorney can help.Understanding Anesthesia Errors
When it comes to anesthesia, there are four different types that are used in surgical procedures: general, spinal, regional, and local. Errors can happen involving any type of these anesthesia, making it critical for an anesthesiologist to ensure that he or she is paying attention. While you are under anesthesia, the professional is required to pay attention to the vital signs and ensure that you are receiving enough oxygen.
Serious injuries can take place when a medical professional uses anesthesia incorrectly. In some situations, you may be given too little anesthesia, which could cause you to wake up too soon during the procedure resulting in devastating pain and a traumatic experience. In other situations, you may receive too much anesthesia resulting in difficulties with waking up, brain damage, loss of function in certain body parts, and more. There are also issues that can occur with allergies to anesthesia or interactions with drugs that you are already taking.
In many settings, one anesthesiologist is responsible for overseeing several surgeries taking place at once while one nurse anesthesiologist is assigned to each procedure to monitor progress. Having one doctor spread so thin can often result in mistakes or careless errors like insufficient oxygen, extreme fluctuations in blood pressure, sudden allergic reactions, or uncaught drug interactions.Asserting a Medical Malpractice Claim in Massachusetts
Like many states, Massachusetts has enacted specific laws governing medical malpractice cases. For example, within 15 days after the defendant’s response to a medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff must provide an offer of proof to a three-member tribunal. This panel will evaluate the evidence to determine if there is a legitimate question about whether the defendant was negligent in administering anesthesia to you or your loved one. The offer of proof can include a variety of evidence including medical records, test results, statements from expert witnesses, and other treatment notes.
If the tribunal permits the case to move forward, the plaintiff will be required to post a $6,000 bond to cover the defendant’s legal costs if the plaintiff does not prevail. Next, you will need to show that the defendant failed to act with the same level of treatment and care that a similarly trained medical professional within the geographic region would have administered when facing a patient with a similar medical history. This often requires relying on testimony from medical expert witnesses, which an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you locate and identify.
When it comes to damages in medical malpractice cases, Massachusetts has placed a cap on certain non-economic damages, which cover things like emotional pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, and anxiety. There is no cap on specific damages such as quantifiable economic damages that are associated with the anesthesia error.Meet with a Skilled Medical Malpractice Attorney in Massachusetts
Medical malpractice cases can be complicated, and it can be difficult to know whether the medical professional who treated you was careless. We offer a free consultation with an experienced lawyer to help you learn more about the medical malpractice system and whether you may be entitled to compensation. Our team is available to represent injured patients and families who have lost loved ones in areas around Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Newton, Waltham, Quincy, Lowell, Dedham, Brookline, Norwood, and Peabody. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 1-800-262-9200 or contact us online to get started.