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Florida Medical Malpractice: Anesthesia Errors

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For medical patients, anesthesia is incredibly valuable. These drugs can make invasive operations, that would otherwise be borderline unbearable, somewhat tolerable. Pain can be blocked, muscles can be relaxed and, in some cases, a patient may be unconscious throughout the entire procedure.

At the same time, anesthesia is dangerous. These drugs are powerful; when they are not used correctly, anesthesia can cause tremendous, even life-altering, damage to a patient.

Anesthesiologists and all other medical professionals have a legal responsibility to administer these drugs with proper care and with adequate skill. If they fail to do so for any reason, they may be held legally liable for medical malpractice. If you or a loved one was the victim of an anesthesia error in Florida, please contact an experienced Tampa medical malpractice attorney for immediate assistance.

Four Common Anesthesiologist Mistakes  

  1. Failure to properly intubate: Many anesthesiologist errors occur during attempted intubation. This is the process by which a person is enabled to breathe during a surgery. It is a delicate process that must be handled with due care.
  2. Failure to monitor: Medical professionals have a legal duty to continuously monitor any of their patients that are under powerful drugs. With anesthesia, something can go wrong at any time. The failure to actively monitor a patient could lead to serious (preventable) complications arising.
  3. Improper dosage: Getting too much or too little of a drug could result in severe physical or psychological damage to a patient. Anesthesiologists and their support staff must ensure that they are giving their patients the correct dosage of all drugs.
  4. Poor communication: Finally, many anesthesia errors occur as a result of poor communication. Medical patients have a right to ‘informed consent’, and the failure by medical professionals to communicate effectively can sometimes lead to complications or injuries.

Holding a Medical Professional Liable for an Anesthesia Error  

To hold a Florida medical professional liable for your damages, you must be able to prove that their negligence contributed to your injuries or medical complications. Under Florida law, this requires satisfying each of the following four factors:

  • A legally valid doctor-patient relationship must have existed;
  • The medical professional must have violated the standard of care;
  • The medical professional’s misconduct must have contributed to your damages; and
  • You must prove that you suffered real harm.

Notably, most anesthesia error malpractice claims come down to the issue of the ‘standard of care’. Under the law, your doctor has an obligation to provide you with care that is at least as good as an ordinary doctor would have been able to provide under reasonably similar conditions. If your anesthesiologist failed to do so, then they violated the standard of care. As such, they can be held liable for medical malpractice. 

Were You a Victim of Medical Malpractice in Tampa Bay?  

We can help. At Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group, our Tampa medical malpractice lawyers have helped many victims recover full compensation for their damages. If you or a loved one was injured by an anesthesia error, please call us today at (813) 242-4404 to request a free review of your case. We serve medical malpractice victims throughout the region, including in Hillsborough County, Pasco County and Pinellas County.

Resource:

hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/guidance/faq/informed-consent/

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