An anesthesiologist administers anesthesia to patients so that they can be in an unconscious or semi-conscious state during a medical procedure. The four types of anesthesia are general anesthesia resulting in total loss of consciousness, spinal anesthesia such as an epidural for labor and delivery, regional anesthesia that serves to block pain signals to the brain, and local anesthesia that numbs skin and tissue. Most of the time, anesthesia is safe. However, anesthesia errors can result in serious injuries or even death. If you are hurt due to an anesthesia error in Dallas, you can consider seeking guidance from medical malpractice lawyer Nick Feizy as you pursue compensation.Establishing Liability for Anesthesia Errors
Anesthesia errors most often occur with regard to general or spinal anesthesia. They may happen because of a medication or drug interaction, not enough anesthesia, too much anesthesia, a failure to provide oxygen, a failure to monitor vital signs, or a miscommunication. Sometimes a technician does not have proper training to administer the anesthesia, while other times an anesthesiologist fails to read the medical chart carefully enough. An anesthesiologist may make a mistake in interpreting information from the monitoring equipment.
The harm that may result from an anesthesia error includes brain injury, stroke, paralysis, dementia, heart attack, or coma. In order to successfully prove medical malpractice, you would need to show the duty of the health care provider to act according to a particular standard of care, a breach of that standard of care, a causal link from the breach to your injuries, and quantifiable damages. If the anesthesia error occurred in the context of emergency treatment, you would have to prove these elements and also that the breach was "willful and wanton" negligence.
"Proximate cause" basically means that an event is the legal cause of the injuries. It has two components: cause-in-fact and foreseeability. Cause-in-fact means that the anesthesia error was a substantial factor in bringing about your injuries and that without it you would not have suffered the same harm. Foreseeability means that the health care provider should have anticipated that his or her negligence would create danger for the patient. Usually, you can establish causation by providing evidence that it is more likely than not that the harms suffered arose from the anesthesia error.
In some cases, the hospital may be held liable for a nurse, staff member, or anesthesiologist who negligently performed a duty owed to you. The hospital owes a duty to patients to use reasonable care in developing policies and procedures that cover the staff. A hospital also owes the duty to hire, supervise, and train competent employees. The hospital's standard of care is what an ordinary prudent hospital would do under the same circumstances.
In Texas, you can potentially recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages arising out of medical malpractice. However, non-economic damages, which compensate the victim for intangible harms like pain and suffering, are capped at $250,000. Texas does not cap economic damages like medical care, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and other financial losses arising out of the anesthesia error.Explore Your Options with a Dallas Lawyer after an Incident of Negligence
Proving the negligence of a health care provider is challenging, but it can be done. If you have been harmed by a careless anesthesiologist in Dallas or the surrounding communities, you should consult injury attorney Nick Feizy. To set up a free consultation, call Feizy Law Office at (214) 651-8686 or contact us via our online form. We also represent injured people in other Texas cities, such as Arlington, Irving, Garland, Fort Worth, and Plano.