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Recovering Damages for Injuries Caused by Anesthesia Errors


While many people associate medical malpractice claims with surgical errors, a surprising number of these cases are actually based on mistakes made while administering anesthesia. For help filing your own claim against the health care facility that made an error during your own procedure, please contact one of our dedicated Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice lawyers today.

Types of Anesthesia

Medical professionals use a number of different types of anesthesia during their procedures. However, the three most common are:

  • General anesthesia, which renders patients unconscious and unresponsive and is usually inhaled or administered intravenously;
  • Regional anesthesia, which involves the use of anesthetics to block feeling in a single part of the body and allows for treatment without unconsciousness; and
  • Local anesthesia, which is utilized during minor procedures to numb a small site and does not affect the patient’s state of awareness.

While complications can occur when any of these types of anesthesia are used, general anesthesia errors tend to have the most devastating consequences.

Potential Complications

The use of anesthesia can result in a variety of complications, even when administered properly, such as nausea, mental confusion, vomiting, a sore throat, and delirium. Fortunately, these symptoms are usually temporary. More serious complications could include damage to the larynx, an allergic reaction, respiratory difficulties, and damage to the teeth. When anesthesia is administered improperly, however, it can have devastating consequences, including brain damage, blood clots, nerve damage, heart attack, and even death.

While these complications aren’t always preventable, they can often be avoided by taking a thorough medical history and carefully monitoring the patient during surgery, so when an anesthesiologist or nurse fails to use this level of care, his or her employer can be held liable for resulting injuries. Plaintiffs whose claims are successful could be eligible to collect damages compensating them for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. In the event that the patient tragically loses his or her life as a result of a medical professional’s negligence, that individual’s family could file a wrongful death claim on the victim’s behalf.

Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

Recovering damages for an anesthesia error is only possible if the injured party, or his or her representative files a claim before the statute of limitations expires. In Florida, the deadline for filing such a claim is two years from the date that the injury was, or should have been, discovered. In either case, the latest a person can file this type of claim is four years from the date of the negligent or wrongful act, unless the medical provider fraudulently deceived the patient as to their negligence, in which case, the statute of limitations can be extended to seven years. Finally, injured parties must also serve a notice of intent to sue on the negligent health care provider before they will be permitted to file suit in court.

Contact a Dedicated Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Retaining an experienced attorney can play a crucial role in the success of a medical malpractice claim. To speak with a member of our own medical malpractice legal team about your case, please call Boone & Davis in Fort Lauderdale at 954-566-9919 today.

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