Medical Malpractice Attorneys Helping Individuals and Families in the Baltimore Area
For many people, the scariest part about having any medical procedure done is going under anesthesia. Anesthesiologists play a vital role in ensuring that the process goes smoothly. If they make a careless error, the consequences can be devastating for the patient. Like other physicians, anesthesiologists owe every patient a duty to abide by the appropriate standard of care. If an Anesthesia Error happened by a negligent physician in the Baltimore area, you should seek the help of a medical malpractice lawyer at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt. We have over 75 years of combined experience handling virtually every type of medical malpractice case, including those arising from anesthesia problems. We can put this knowledge and experience to use in pursuing the compensation that you need.
What is Anesthesia?
Anesthesia is a type of medication administered for the relief of pain and sensation during surgery. The kind and dosage will depend on the type of procedure. Generally there are 3 types:
- Local Anesthesia
- Given temporarily to stop the sensation of pain in a particular area of the body. The patient remains awake and it is administered by injection directly into the area. This is most often used for sutures. If a larger area needs to be numbed a regional anesthetic may be used.
- Regional Anesthesia
- Is used to numb only the portion of the body that requires the surgical procedures. There are several forms of regional Anesthesia including Spinal and Epidural. Spinal Anesthesia is used for lower abdominal, pelvic, rectal or lower extremity surgery. While similar, Epidural Anesthesia is used most often for chest or abdominal procedures of childbirth.
- General anesthesia
- This most widely used technique is used to induce unconsciousness through inhaling a gas or through IV.
Complications of Anesthesia
Anesthesia errors may include providing too much or too little anesthesia, medication errors, delayed anesthesia delivery, lack of oxygen, and preventable allergic reactions. Another problem that could arise in this area is “anesthesia awareness,” when a patient is fully awake yet unable to move or inform the doctor about what he or she is experiencing. This condition may occur if the anesthesia is ineffective, wrongly delivered, or poorly controlled. It can inflict serious emotional trauma and psychological damage to the patient.
People who have been hurt due to the negligent administration of anesthesia can take legal action against the anesthesiologist and, in some cases, the hospital or medical facility for which the individual works. Typically, the injured party can file a medical malpractice claim.
Under Maryland medical malpractice law, patients have a certain time frame to file their claims. This period is known as the statute of limitations. Generally, a patient has five years from the date that the injury was caused or three years from when the injury is discovered, whichever is earlier. If you have suffered the tragic loss of a loved one due to an anesthesia problem, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against any at-fault party. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death in Maryland is three years from the date of the death.
The state of Maryland has enacted limits or a “cap” on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. Non-economic damages encompass intangibles such as pain and suffering, physical impairment, disfigurement and scarring, loss of consortium, and other non-pecuniary losses. The amount of the cap is currently $725,000 for non-economic damages. It is important to note that it does not affect a victim’s ability to seek economic damages, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost income, and other objective costs.
Legal Guidance for Injured Residents of Prince George’s County
At Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt, our injury attorneys understand that people in Prince George’s County and other areas of Maryland can suffer traumatic harm as a result of an anesthesiologist’s error. When you or your loved one has been harmed due to the negligence of a health care provider, you can potentially assert your rights. We can zealously advocate for you and pursue the maximum possible compensation permitted by law. Our team works aggressively and compassionately for the most seriously injured individuals in our community. To learn more, contact us online or call us at 888-952-9669.
National Library of Medicine- Medication error in Anesthesia and Critical Care
Medline Plus- Anesthesia