Anesthesia is used in several surgical procedures to allow the patient to enter an unconscious or semi-conscious state so he or she does not feel the pain caused by surgery. Anesthesia, when properly administered, is considered safe. However, when anesthesia errors do occur during surgery, the consequences can be devastating.

While anesthesia errors could occur for several reasons, they are often the result of negligence on the part of the anesthesiologist and/or the medical team. Sometimes, these types of serious mistakes could also occur due to incompetence. When an anesthesia error occurs, the medical providers responsible for the patient’s injury or pain and suffering can be held liable under medical malpractice laws.

If you or a loved one has suffered injury or harm as the result of an anesthesia error, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including past and future medical expenses, loss of income, disability, and pain and suffering. The experienced Morgantown medical malpractice attorneys at the Robinette Legal Group PLLC help those who have suffered serious injuries because of medical mistakes such as anesthesia errors, recover maximum compensation for their damages and losses. Please contact us for more information about pursuing your legal rights.

Morgantown Anesthesia Errors and Medical Negligence

Each year in the United States, more than 40 million medical procedures are done. The ability to administer anesthesia is, without a doubt, one of the greatest achievements of modern medicine. However, there is still the potential for error. Nearly 251,000 people die each year in the United States due to medical mistakes. In fact, medical errors are the third most common cause of death in the United States, right behind cancer and heart disease.

Here are the most common anesthesia errors that can be prevented:

Medication dosing errors: This is an ongoing concern in hospitals and most frequently occurs in the middle of anesthesia. These types of anesthesia errors are caused by lack of experience, lack of familiarity with the equipment or device, and haste, inattention, or carelessness. It is important for anesthesiologists to speak up whenever they are not sure about medication dosing or are unsure about how to use certain medical equipment.

Giving too much anesthesia:This can be an extremely serious mistake. The amount of anesthesia administered depends on a number of factors such as the procedure being performed and the patient’s size. When a patient is given too much anesthesia, he or she may experience complications including problems waking up, cardiac arrest and even brain damage.

Administering too little anesthesia:Giving too little anesthesia can also give rise to serious complications. One potential complication of too little medication is known as “anesthesia awareness.” This involves the patient waking up during surgery and possibly feeling pain. This experience can be so traumatic that some people who do experience anesthesia awareness may develop post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

There are several ways to help prevent anesthesia awareness or reduce the risk of this condition. Medical professionals should ask patients about their health including previous problems with anesthesia such as a history of being aware during surgery. Medical professionals should also thoroughly examine the patient’s medications including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and herbal supplements. A history of alcohol or drug use may also increase the risk of anesthesia awareness.

Lack of proper monitoring: Anesthesia can have an impact on a patient’s heart rate, breathing and even blood pressure. Patients must be monitored properly while under anesthesia and as they come out of sedation. When there is no proper monitoring, the patient’s medical team could miss life-threatening complications that may arise.

Failure to manage IV flow: Not regulating intravenous fluid properly can also result in serious complications. IV flow rates must be set accurately especially when anesthesia is being administered. Fluid overload could result in headaches, high blood pressure, anxiety and even breathing problems for patients. On the other hand, low flow can prevent a patient from reacting to the drug as needed.

Anesthesia Errors and Brain Damage

Anesthesiologists have the responsibility to monitor vital indicators of a patient’s health during surgery such as blood pressure and blood fluid levels. However, if the anesthesiologist is careless or distracted and fails to monitor patients properly, the consequences can be disastrous. When such negligence results in oxygen deprivation or stroke, brain damage could occur.

This could happen when the patient’s blood flow to the brain is not properly monitored. This is the primary job of the anesthesiologist during surgery. There are also circumstances under which anesthesiologists must intubate the patient during surgery. This involves placing a tube into the patient’s trachea to open the airway thereby helping the patient breathe under general anesthesia. However, when the anesthesiologist fails to properly intubate the patient, it could cause oxygen deprivation and brain damage.

Why Do Anesthesia Errors Occur?

Anesthesia errors may occur for several reasons including medical negligence due to improper or inadequate training, and incompetence. All anesthesiologists, as well as doctors and medical staff who are involved in the process, must be properly trained to recognize and avoid common anesthesia errors.

When there is a lack of qualified personnel on the team, errors could occur. Mistakes may also happen because the medical team failed to review a patient’s medical history. The patient may have certain risk factors in his or her medical history that may call for caution. In some cases, a lack of attention to details such as the patient’s weight may also lead to anesthesia errors.

Seeking Compensation for Your Losses for a Surgical Error in Morgantown, WV

If you or a loved one has suffered injury or death due to surgical errors, particularly anesthesia errors caused by negligence at hospitals such as Ruby Memorial Hospital, Monongalia General (Mon General) Hospital, Mon Health Systems WVU University Health Associates or private clinics in West Virginia, our Morgantown personal injury lawyers can help you receive maximum compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses.

You may be able to seek damages including but not limited to medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, permanent injuries, disabilities, and past and future pain and suffering. The Robinette Legal Group PLLC represents injured victims and their families in personal injury cases, including those that involve medical negligence, throughout the state of West Virginia. Contact us at 304-594-1800 to find out how we can help you.

Call us today to find out how we can help you.

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While timbering in WV, a heavy equipment operator sustained a permanent brain injury while performing the duties of his job. What price can you put on the loss of a fully functioning, fully reasoning brain? Jeff Robinette was able to negotiate a settlement that was annuitized to provide for this man for the rest of his life.

Crushed Foot Injury

While working in Morgantown, WV for a large national retailer, our client, a young woman in her early twenties, was ordered to use equipment that she was not properly trained to use. In the course of attempting to complete her task, she sustained a severe crush injury to her foot. Due to this incident, our client lost full use of this foot for the rest of her life and was living with chronic, persistent pain.

Our firm was able to obtain a sizable settlement which took care of all her medical bills and future treatment for her foot injury. The settlement was ample enough to allow this young woman to go back to college and retrain for employment which will accommodate her permanent disability.

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Imagine having your leg crushed so badly in an accident that you have to undergo two surgeries to insert multiple pins and have a rod hammered into the bone just to stabilize the femur. Unfortunately, the first rod inserted into the bone didn’t accomplish the desired effect, so the rod had to be removed and surgically reinserted. Imagine the great pain, the months of therapy and recovery, and the frustration of knowing you can never return to the type of work you have performed for decades.

Jeff Robinette was able to obtain a great enough settlement to pay this man’s medical bills in their entirety and money enough to start a new business so he could work and live a productive life even with his permanent impairment.


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Jeffery Robinette
Jeffery Robinette is a West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer based in Morgantown who represents individuals who have been seriously injured or killed due to motor vehicle collisions or catastrophic workplace accidents.
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