Anaesthesia is an inherently risky medical practice. Patients are carefully put under with medications, monitored and hopefully brought back to their normal state after the operation is in order.
In the US, anaesthesiology ranked seventh of 28 specialties in terms of monies paid out to patients in medical negligence cases. The main issues were improper performance, improper intubation, problems with intraoperative monitoring, and using or selecting the wrong medication or agent.
The major types of cases involved in medical negligence cases included back pain, displacement of an intervertebral disc, cataracts, pregnancy or damage to an infant at the time of birth. Forty nine percent of all claims made were the result of improper intubation or extubation. A total of 23 percent of cases were because of an allegations of improper administration of anaesthesia. The rest of the major cases involved improper performance of a procedure (11 percent), failure in monitoring the patient (11 percent) and improper positioning (6 percent).
In intubation problems, most cases were due to the patient having broken teeth or the patient being improperly intubated. Some claimed that they were extubated too soon or that their jaw was dislocated during the procedure. A few felt the doctor was unable to maintain the airway during the surgery.
The main risk management issues involved in anaesthesia claims are as follows:
- Failure of the doctor’s technical skills
- Not assessing the patient correctly
- Failure in selection and management of therapy
- Lack of sufficient documentation
- Poor communication with patient and family members
- Lack of adequate patient monitoring
- Patient factors
- Poor communication between staff members
Anaesthesiologists have a difficult job. They must communicate with the patient to get a sense of their preoperative health. They must evaluate the patient with an examination to see if they are healthy enough to have anaesthesia, they must intubate the patient properly, and they must adequately monitor the patient during and after surgery. The right medications must be given during surgery and after surgery, for pain control. If these things are not properly done, the patient can have an adverse effect and may seek the advice of a solicitor because of injuries sustained by the anaesthesiologist’s errors.
Our Medical Negligence Irish Solicitors have considerable experience in representing clients in anaesthetic claims.
If you or a loved one suffered injury caused by receiving an anaesthetic, please contact us to speak with one of our specialist solicitors who can evaluate your case to determine your legal rights and options.
We offer initial consultations to find out whether you have a case and will explain how to go about claiming and the process involved. We will give you clear unequivocal advice about your chances of success and the anticipated value of your claim. If after talking to us you decide not to take your anaesthetic compensation claim further you are under no obligation to do so and you will not be charged anything at all.
For more information or to arrange a meeting phone 1800 303 556 or email [email protected]
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.