During surgery and other invasive medical procedures, patients are often administered anesthesia. This is a vital part of the process, as anesthesia will help to dramatically reduce a patient’s pain. However, it is important to note that anesthesia is a very powerful drug. In the event that an error occurs, anesthesia can cause serious damage to the patient. Your anesthesiologist has a legal obligation to protect your health. If you check into a medical facility in Clinton, such as at Laurens County Memorial Hospital, you need to be concerned about possible anesthesia errors. If you or a family member has been the victim of an anesthesia error in Clinton, South Carolina, you need legal protection.

Understanding the Types of Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia errors occur in a wide variety of forms. They may be caused by the carelessness of your anesthesiologist, the inattentiveness of a supporting nurse or even by defective medical equipment. Regardless of the specific circumstances, the victimized patient deserves full and fair compensation for any resulting injuries. These injuries are often very serious and result in significant medical bills and substantial pain and suffering. Some specific examples of anesthesia errors that might have affected you or a family member in Clinton, South Carolina include a medical professional:

  • Giving the patient the incorrect drug or the wrong dosage;
  • Improperly combining two or more drugs;
  • Waiting too long to administer the anesthesia;
  • Failing to properly monitor the vital signs of the patient;
  • Incorrectly assessing the patient’s history of allergies;
  • Using defective, expired or unsterilized medical equipment; or
  • Failing to adequately inform the patient of potential risks.

If you have suffered an injury due to any of the aforementioned errors, or any other type of error, an experienced medical malpractice attorney should comprehensively review your case.

You Could Be Entitled to Significant Compensation

In South Carolina, victims of medical malpractice, including anesthesia errors, are entitled to compensation for the full extent of their damages. Your compensation will always depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Though, in general, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • All current and future medical expenses;
  • Any costs associated with required rehabilitation;
  • Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress;
  • Disfigurement; and
  • In some cases, punitive damages.

Anesthesia Errors: The Elements of Medical Malpractice

In many ways, anesthesia injury cases are similar to other medical malpractice cases. You can only recover compensation from a doctor or healthcare provider if you can prove your injury was sustained as a result of negligence. This means that proving that you sustained an injury because of anesthesia is not, by itself, enough to prevail in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Without negligence, you will not be able to hold the medical professional or healthcare provider liable. Put simply, negligence occurs when a party fails to take proper care when performing an action. To prevail in a legal action, you will need to prove each of the four basic elements of negligence. These being:

  • Duty;
  • Breach;
  • Causation; and
  • Damages.

An Attorney Can Help You Prove Medical Malpractice

Proving medical malpractice is notoriously complex. If you have suffered an anesthesia-related injury or any other type of medical injury, you need to get your case in the hands of a qualified South Carolina medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will need to conduct a thorough examination of the circumstances surrounding your injuries. This includes reviewing all of the actions taken by the medical professionals who were in charge of your care. Ultimately, proving medical malpractice in an anesthesia error case can be done in a number of ways. Two examples of things that your attorney will do are:

  • Use expert testimony: Expert testimony is extremely powerful in anesthesia error injury cases. This is because the medical field is both highly specialized and extremely technical. Supporting testimony from an anesthesiology expert will be very compelling. The testimony will do two main things: establish the appropriate standard of care and show how your doctors deviated from that standard of care. If an anesthesiologist of ordinary skill would not have made the same error, when placed under similar circumstances, then medical malpractice has occurred. A medical expert will help attest to that fact.
  • Extensive review of the process: All medical professionals must follow the appropriate procedures when treating patients. After all, these safety procedures are in place for a reason. For example, reported that Laurens County Memorial Hospital was recently designated as a safe surgery destination. This accolade is awarded to hospitals that implement a system of extensive checklists and other safety checks before administering any anesthesia. These safety checks are very important, and they can go a long way towards reducing the risk of injuries. It is good to see a local hospital implement these precautions. However, unfortunately, all too often medical professionals decide to take shortcuts. Safety procedures are of little value if they are not followed. Further, they must be followed in spirit and not just by the letter. In other words, if your anesthesiologist is just rushing through their safety checklist, they are not treating your case with the appropriate level of due care. They are being careless, and as a result your safety is being put at risk. When building an injury claim, your attorney will conduct a thorough review of the process used by medical professionals. Oftentimes, the root cause of the anesthesia error was simple carelessness. Careless doctors and nurses must be held accountable for the immense damage that they cause.

Contact Our Office Today

When you seek professional medical treatment, your healthcare providers have a legal obligation to provide to with quality care. In the event that you are injured by an anesthesia error, you deserve full and fair compensation. The experienced South Carolina medical malpractice attorneys at Joye Law Firm are ready help. Our team will fight aggressively to protect your rights. Please do not hesitate to contact our Clinton office today at (877) 721-5638 to schedule a free review of your case. Our firm represents victims throughout Laurens County and the rest of South Carolina.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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