During surgery, the anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist are like umpires. If they do their job well, no one notices them. But when anesthesiologists make mistakes during surgery, the harm to the patient is often catastrophic.
This page discusses anesthesia malpractice lawsuits. If you believe you have a claim for a mistake and would like to speak with an anesthesia malpractice lawyer about your options, call 800-553-8082 or get an online case evaluation.
- Get verdicts and settlements in these anesthesia cases
Overview of Anesthesia
Approximately 40 million anesthetics are administered each year in the United States. There are three types of anesthetics: local anesthetics, regional anesthetics, and general anesthetics.
Local anesthesia is a method used to numb a specific, small area of the body to prevent pain during medical or surgical procedures. Unlike general and regional anesthesia, which affect a larger area or an entire region of the body, local anesthesia targets a distinct location and is often used for minor outpatient procedures.
Here’s a breakdown of local anesthesia:
- Method of Administration:
- Topical Anesthesia: Applied directly to the surface of the skin or mucous membranes in the form of creams, ointments, sprays, or drops. Commonly used for procedures like skin lesion removal or before inserting a needle.
- Infiltration Anesthesia: Involves injecting the anesthetic solution directly into the tissue that needs to be numbed. This is frequently used for minor surgical procedures like dental work, stitching a small wound, or removing a mole.
- Commonly Used Local Anesthetics: Lidocaine, bupivacaine, prilocaine, and tetracaine are examples of drugs used for local anesthesia.
- Duration: The duration of numbness varies depending on the specific drug used and its concentration. Some local anesthetics can provide numbness for a few hours.
- Allows for pain-free minor surgical or medical procedures without affecting consciousness or deeper bodily functions.
- Avoids the potential side effects and risks associated with more extensive forms of anesthesia.
- Potential Side Effects and Risks:
- Local irritation or allergic reaction at the application site.
- In rare cases, if the anesthetic is absorbed into the bloodstream in significant amounts, it could lead to systemic side effects like dizziness, tremors, or, in very rare cases, more serious complications.
- Overdose can occur if too much of the local anesthetic is used.
Where you see a lot of anesthesia medical malpractice lawsuits is when doctors are unaware of the maximum recommended doses and potential interactions of local anesthetics. Patients should inform healthcare providers about any allergies or past reactions to local anesthetics and doctors have to connect the dots to avoid dangerous drug interactions and potential allergies.
Regional anesthesia is the technique of numbing a specific body region to prevent pain perception during surgical or medical procedures. Unlike general anesthesia, where the patient is rendered unconscious, a patient under regional anesthesia generally remains conscious but does not feel pain in the area being operated on. There are several types of regional anesthesia, and the choice depends on the surgical procedure, the patient’s health, and the preference of the anesthesiologist and surgeon.
Here are some common types of regional anesthesia:
- Epidural and Spinal Anesthesia: These techniques involve injecting anesthetic agents into the spaces around the spinal cord. They’re frequently used for surgeries of the lower limbs, pelvis, and abdomen and childbirth.
- Epidural: The anesthetic is injected into the epidural space, the spinal canal’s outermost part. This doesn’t involve puncturing the dura (a protective covering of the spinal cord); a catheter is often left to administer additional medication if needed.
- Spinal: The anesthetic is injected directly into the cerebrospinal fluid in the subarachnoid space, which is deeper than the epidural space. This provides a rapid and dense block but is typically a one-time injection without a catheter left in place.
- Peripheral Nerve Blocks: These involve injecting the anesthetic near principal nerve bundles that supply specific areas of the body, numbing that particular region. They are typically well-tolerated. Common examples include:
- Brachial plexus block for arm or hand surgeries.
- Femoral nerve block for surgeries on the front of the thigh or knee.
- Sciatic nerve block for surgeries on the back of the thigh, lower leg, ankle, or foot.
- Intravenous Regional Anesthesia (Bier Block): This technique involves injecting anesthetic into a vein of a limb after the blood flow has been restricted using a tourniquet. It’s primarily used for short procedures on the limbs and is relatively safe.
However, like all medical procedures, regional anesthesia carries risks, including bleeding, infection, nerve damage, and adverse reactions to the anesthetic drug. The decision to use regional anesthesia is made after carefully considering the potential benefits and risks for each patient.
General anesthesia is what you think it is: being “put under” where you are if done right, unconscious, and have no memory of the procedure. This type of anesthetic is used for more severe procedures: heart, lung, brain surgeries, etc.
During a surgical procedure, anesthesia is usually initiated with an intravenous injection. Following this, its maintenance is achieved with the help of inhaled anesthetics and gases. To ensure proper breathing throughout the surgery, an endotracheal tube or another suitable airway device may be inserted into the patient.
Throughout the entire procedure, a trained anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist is responsible for closely monitoring the patient’s vital signs. They also adjust drug dosages as required and make certain the patient remains in an unconscious state for the duration of the surgery.
After the surgical procedure concludes, the administration of anesthetics is discontinued. This enables the patient to gradually wake up and regain consciousness, typically in a dedicated recovery room.
Anesthesiologists in operating rooms are responsible for providing a continuous medical assessment of the patient, including monitoring vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, respiratory rate, etc.) and administering anesthesia to control the patient’s pain level and unconsciousness. This is a big deal. Neglecting to keep an eye on a patient’s vital signs can lead to catastrophic outcomes, including brain damage from lack of oxygen or death.
After surgery, they are responsible for the post-anesthetic evaluation and maintaining patients in a state of comfort.
Anesthesia Malpractice Lawsuits
The rate of anesthesia malpractice has been thankfully declining over the past several years due to advancing medical practice as well as the ASA Closed Claims Project initiative. The ASA Closed Claims Project was started in 1985 to review malpractice in anesthesia to understand potential areas of concern and to address and prevent occurrences in the future. The ASA has generated a database of 9214 closed insurance claims from cases of anesthetic malpractice. (The database does not include dental anesthetic malpractice claims, which are the most common of anesthetic malpractice claims.)
Types of anesthesia malpractice include burns from materials or devices heated and used to warm patients (e.g., heating pads, IV bags, warming lights, and hot compresses), cautery burns/fires, eye damage, nerve damage (e.g., cervical cord injury), awareness, trauma, and drug allergies or interactions. Trauma includes, but is not limited to, intubation problems, endotracheal tube insertion, and removal of tubes.
Intubation problems can occur due to misdirection of the tube down the esophagus, which may damage the throat structures (thyroid cartilage, larynx (voice box)). Endotracheal tube malpositioning can lead to lung or heart damage. It is also critical that the anesthesiologist is aware of the patient’s current medications and allergies so adverse reactions can be anticipated and managed accordingly.
Anesthesia-associated nerve injury is a common cause of malpractice lawsuits. The most common injury was to the brachial plexus, followed by ulnar nerve injury, radial nerve injury, peroneal nerve injury, paraplegia, lumbosacral injury, and various “other” injuries. Studies have found that for most Anesthesia-associated nerve injury lawsuits, a reoccurring issue is the lack of proper intraoperative protective padding and errors in patient position. There are also many malpractice lawsuits from anesthesiologists misusing the tourniquet during a procedure.
Pregnant women and kids are two groups with a further risk for complications with anesthesia. Obstetric anesthesia malpractice claims include maternal death, maternal brain damage, newborn brain damage/neonatal death (which usually involves difficult intubation), maternal nerve injury (due to regional anesthesia), headache, and back pain. Though maternal brain damage, maternal death, and newborn brain damage/death have decreased over time, there has been an increase in claims for maternal nerve damage and back pain.
Newborn brain damage/death makes up approximately one-fifth of anesthesia malpractice claims. These cases often include allegations of poor communication, poor anesthesia care in response to intubation, and anesthesia delay. In terms of average settlement, some of the largest anesthesia cases are inadequate ventilation because these are often lifetime brain injury or death cases. Other common injuries to the child in anesthetic malpractice claims in pediatric care include respiratory and cardiovascular injuries.
Anesthesiology Lawsuits on the Decline
There are not as many medical malpractice lawsuits against anesthesiologists as there were 30 years ago. Back then, the profession was riddled with malpractice claims. Juries were repeatedly hitting these doctors with large malpractice verdicts.
Now, there are far, far fewer claims. Why? The answer is medical malpractice lawsuits. Instead of crying for tort reform — okay, they did that too, actually — anesthesiologists simply got better. They revised flawed procedures, changed work rules to fight fatigue, and demanded and got the equipment they need to keep patients safe.
As a result, the mortality rate from anesthesia nose-dived from 1 in 6000 administrations to 1 in 200,000. Look at those numbers again. It is amazing. Today, while the settlements and verdicts in these cases are still very high, anesthesiologists have some of the lowest malpractice insurance rates of any significant medical specialty.
One anesthesia complication is anesthesia awareness. The patient receives medication that paralyzes them from calling for help, but the patient remains conscious. The patient is helpless to express the awful pain and must suffer through the surgery fully aware. According to the ASA Closed Claims Project, anesthetic awareness occurs at a rate of 0.1% to 0.2% of general anesthetics. Causes of awareness include light anesthesia (37%) and anesthesia delivery problems (28%). In a third of the cases, the cause is unknown.
Anesthesia Malpractice: Lawsuits, Settlements, and Verdicts Examples
Below are examples of settlement amounts and jury payouts along with their anesthesia malpractice story. You will notice the absence of Maryland cases. Most malpractice lawsuits against anesthesiologists in Maryland settle before trial. Here are a few lawsuits against anesthesiologists filed in Maryland:
- Milad v. Mercy Medical Center: This is an extubation wrongful death case
- Morton v. Mercy Medical Center: another anesthesia lawsuit filed against Mercy Hospital, this one alleging that too much anesthesia led to her losing vision in one eye
- Kenney v. Western Maryland Health Systems: wrongful death case alleging that decedent should have been given a local anesthetic instead of general anesthesia because of her poor health
- Douglas v. Dimension Health Corporation: wrongful death case alleging plaintiff should never have been gotten anesthesia for liposuction
You can use these jury payout and settlement amounts to understand your case’s possible settlement value better. But that is all you will get from these stories. There is no way to use this kind of data to calculate your case’s exact settlement value. Jurisdictional differences, caps on non-economic damages, and other factors make it impossible to compare one case to another and calculate a claim’s settlement value. (It would be nice if it were that easy.)
- 2023, Kentucky $1,300,000 Verdict: A 68-year-old female, was placed under general anesthesia using Lidocaine by the defendant oral surgeon. According to the plaintiff, the defendant was aware of the patient’s history of heart conditions, including tachycardia. The woman died, reportedly due to ventricular fibrillation/cardiac arrest subsequent to Lidocaine toxicity. Wrongful death lawsuit was brought against the oral surgeon.
- 2023, Pennsylvania $60,000 Settlement: The plaintiff claimed to suffer a traumatic laceration of the soft palate and injury to the anatomy of the mouth and pharynx after she was intubated by defendant anesthesiologist. The lawsuit contended that the defendant was negligent in failing to properly perform the intubation and administration of anesthesia, failing to possess and or employ the skills required of a reasonable and prudent anesthesiologist, failing to determine and ensure the proper placement of the endotracheal tube.
- 2022, Texas $21,000 Verdict: A 32-year-old individual underwent surgery to fix a broken leg at the hospital. During this procedure, there was a significant oversight: the medical team failed to monitor the patient’s blood pressure adequately. This oversight was crucial, as correct monitoring would have alerted them to alarmingly low oxygen levels. Unfortunately, due to this neglect, the patient suffered severe oxygen deprivation, leading to irreversible brain damage and the patient entering a vegetative state. The local jury deemed the medical providers responsible for this grave oversight, underscoring the profound consequences of medical negligence and the critical responsibility healthcare professionals owe to their patients.
- 2022, Georgia $5,000,000 Verdict: The plaintiff suffered acute hypoxic and hypercapnic respiratory failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome with the need for intubation, acute kidney injury, aspiration pneumonia, septic shock and rhabdomyolysis after anesthesia was administered by the defendant. The lawsuit accused the defendant of negligence in the administration and monitoring of the anesthesia.
- 2022, Texas $8,300,000 verdict: A woman underwent surgery. The anesthesiologist mistakenly injected her spine with tranexamic acid rather than a spinal anesthetic. She suffered permanent brain damage. The woman was now paralyzed. She could no longer speak. The woman communicated with blinks and grunts. She could no longer feed herself. The woman required round-the-clock care. Her husband alleged negligence against the anesthesiologist. He claimed he failed to provide appropriate care and administered the wrong medication. A jury awarded $8,300,000.
- 2020, South Carolina $415,000 settlement: A man underwent a colonoscopy. After surgery, he was not breathing and had no pulse. The nurse anesthetist put him under a ventilator and called a code blue. The man was transported to a hospital and transferred to hospice care until he died six days later. His family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the healthcare facility, the nurse anesthetist, and her employer. They alleged that the nurse anesthetist failed to timely recognize respiratory arrest after she administered two Propofol doses, failed to timely administer intubation, and failed to administer the appropriate medications.
- 2020, New York $2,195,264 settlement: A 7-year-old boy underwent outpatient treatment for bilateral undescended testicles and circumcision. The anesthesia caused an allergic reaction. These reactions include malignant hyperthermia, cerebral infarction, lower leg paralysis, a bilateral deformity, and left-eye vision impairment. His malignant hyperthermia resulted in multi-organ failure. The family sued the anesthesiologist for failing to properly monitor his body temperature by allowing it to go up to an unbelievable 110 degrees before treating it. His mother alleged that if the anesthesiologist had treated her son at lower temperatures, they could have avoided intellectual and cognitive impairments.
- 2019, New Jersey $3,250,000 settlement: A 60-year-old auto mechanic underwent right eye enucleation surgery after a pre-surgery cardiology consultation. During the procedure, anesthesia caused anoxic encephalopathy. The man sued the cardiologist, the anesthesiologist, their practices, and the hospital where the procedure occurred. He alleged that the anesthesiologist’s negligence – presumably the amount of anesthesia caused him to suffer severe, permanent, and life-threatening injuries. The cardiologist denied liability, claiming that his assessments were accurate and the anesthesiologist’s negligence caused his injuries. The anesthesiologist contested the man’s allegations, claiming that his history of cardiac issues and diabetes contributed to his injuries. They claimed that they followed the appropriate evaluation and procedures. This case settled for $3,250,000. The anesthesiologist took the brunt of the blame and paid $2 million. The hospital contributed $250,000, and the cardiologist contributed $1,000,000.
- 2019, California $1,000,000 settlement: A 36-year-old woman died after she suffered cardiac arrest, blood loss, hemorrhagic shock, and disseminated intravascular coagulation after she delivered twins via emergency c-section. Her family hired a lawyer and sued the anesthesiologist for failing to monitor and respond to her blood loss sustained in the delivery and to manage her post-delivery care properly. The anesthesiologist denied liability, claiming that his colleagues’ negligence, rather than his, caused her death.
- 2018, South Carolina $600,000 settlement: A 57-year-old man underwent surgery to remove a fistula. The surgical team placed him under anesthesia for a ligation exam to find the source of the bleeding, hypoventilation, and hypoxia he experienced while sedated. The anesthetist and nurse anesthetist did not timely detect the man’s compromised breathing, which led to hypoxic brain injury and death. His family sued the health care facility, alleging it was responsible for their staff’s actions under respondeat superior. They also made a punitive damages claim against the anesthetist, the anesthetist nurse, and the anesthesiology practice. In most states, you cannot bring a punitive damages claim under these facts, but you can in South Carolina. The case ultimately settled for $600,000.
- 2018, Illinois $4,600,000 verdict: An adult female surgical patient allegedly suffered a stroke following a total thyroidectomy during which the defendants provided anesthesia after a “deliberate hypotensive” technique was used during the surgical procedure. The plaintiff contended that the defendants failed to appreciate her increased risk factors for hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, and ischemic cerebrovascular disease, failed to consult with a critical care physician, failed to communicate with the surgeon properly, and failed to maintain acceptable cerebral profusion to her brain during the delivery of anesthesia. The defendants denied liability and denied that the plaintiff sustained injuries and damages to the extent claimed. A jury determined that the defendants were negligent in administering anesthesia and awarded the plaintiff $4,600,000.
- 2018 Massachusetts $1,150,000 settlement: A female patient was to undergo routine cataract surgery performed by the defendant eye surgeon. The defendant anesthesiologist performed anesthesia in the form of a peribulbar block. The following day, after an uneventful cataract procedure, the female plaintiff was unable to see out of the eye and went for testing that revealed that the anesthesia needle inserted by the defendant anesthesiologist had actually perforated the globe of the eye, with possible administration of the anesthesia into the eye, resulting in blindness. The plaintiff is now permanently blind in the eye when the injection was administered. The plaintiff brought suit against the anesthesiologist and the ophthalmologist, alleging negligence. The plaintiff contended that the defendant surgeon had not adequately vetted the defendant anesthesiologist to perform the nerve-blocking procedure. The defendants denied the allegations. The defendant surgeon disputed any duty of care for the anesthesiologist’s actions, a contract worker. The parties agreed to resolve the plaintiff’s claim for $1,150,000.
- 2017, New York $4,593,180 settlement: The plaintiff gave birth in the hospital; the baby allegedly suffered birth-related neurological injuries that included brain damage and seizures while under the care and treatment of
defendants. His mother contended the defendants were negligent in providing obstetrical and anesthesia care; more specifically, one defendant failed to observe signs and warnings that the 24-year-old mother’s delivery was imminent and failed to timely secure adequate anesthesia coverage by contacting the on-call anesthesiologist. The plaintiff also contended that the defendant negligently refused to provide anesthesia promptly after being advised of the need for an emergency Cesarean section. At the same time, the defendant also failed to adequately supervise staff. The defendant anesthesiologist contended he already was administering anesthesia to other patients in different procedures and thus was prohibited from administering anesthesia to the plaintiff’s mother. The parties reached an out-of-court settlement for $4,593,179.
- 2017, Massachusetts $500,000 settlement: The male decedent underwent an upper endoscopy performed by the defendant physician. Days later, the patient presented to the emergency room complaining of abdominal pain and distension, dark stools, diarrhea, weakness, and nausea with blood in the stool. The defendant physician was contacted by the emergency room physician who attended to the patient. Still, the defendant failed to be concerned by the patient’s complaints and did not see him until the following morning despite being tachycardic, with diminished breath sounds, which required two transfusions due to his blood loss in the stool. Soon afterward, the defendant physician took the patient for a second endoscopy without anesthesia. The patient became apneic and required Naloxone. The breathing tube that the E.R had inserted had to be removed since a clot was blocking it. The patient began to vomit blood and clots, further blocking his airway. Despite efforts, he was unable to be ventilated and oxygenated and died. The autopsy confirmed that the cause of death was a massive upper gastrointestinal bleeding. The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant physician, alleging that the physician was negligent in failing to perform the second endoscopy under general anesthesia, which would have preserved the patient’s airway. The failure to protect the patient’s airway was the cause of death. The defendant denied the allegations and disputed causation and damages. The parties agreed to resolve the plaintiff’s complaint for the sum of $500,000.
- 2017 Massachusetts $750,000 settlement: The decedent in this case, with a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, substance abuse, and atrial fibrillation, came under the care of the defendant dentist for a tooth extraction. The defendant dentist decided to place the plaintiff’s decedent under general anesthesia. The plaintiff alleged that the decedent suffered cardiac arrest shortly after the general anesthesia was administered. The defendant negligently attempted to intubate the decedent and failed, causing the plaintiff’s decedent to suffer a prolonged period of oxygen deprivation until the paramedics arrived, noticed the incorrect tube placement, and properly intubated the decedent. However, the patient was diagnosed as having suffered a hypoxic brain injury. He never regained consciousness and died approximately two weeks later. The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant dentist, alleging negligence in administering general anesthesia when it was not safe to do so, given the patient’s medical history, and negligently administering an excessive dose of anesthesia. The plaintiff also alleged that the defendant was negligent in improperly intubating the decedent. The defendant denied the allegations and disputed damages and causation. Both parties agreed to settle, and the plaintiff received $750,000.
- 2016, Illinois: $7,884,762 Verdict. A sixty-year-old female is having a celiac plexus neurolytic block procedure with absolute alcohol performed by an anesthesiologist, even though this procedure is not indicated. The anesthesiologist fails to properly identify the landmarks while performing the procedure and fails to treat the patient’s pain with a more conservative method. Further, the anesthesiologist does not have the privilege to perform the specific procedure, and he fails to place the spinal needle in the proper place. The patient dies, and her husband and two sons bring a wrongful death suit. The anesthesiologist denies negligence, but a jury awards a whopping $7,884,762.
- 2015, Oregon: $12,195,500 Verdict. A 51-year-old male has aortic valve replacement surgery at the hospital. The surgeon orders 150 mg of Amiodarone, which is the standard dose. However, the anesthesiologist administers 2,700 mg. This results in an anoxic brain injury due to the overdose, leaving the man unable to work or walk independently, requiring 24/7 care. A jury awards him $12,195,500.
- 2015, Massachusetts: $900,000 Settlement. A 39-year-old female is having surgery for uterine fibroids. While she is under general anesthesia, her blood pressure drops and remains at a shallow level for forty-five minutes. Finally, her heart rate and blood pressure are restored to normal, but she never regains consciousness. She is in an irreversible coma for six days and then is pronounced dead. Her estate brings suit against the anesthesiologist and the resident doctor, claiming they allowed her blood pressure and heart rate to go too slow and deprived her brain of oxygen. The defendants maintain that the anesthesia was reasonable and appropriate. In a confidential settlement, the case settles for $900,000 before trial.
- 2015, New York: $500,000 Settlement. A 54-year-old female is undergoing a biopsy when she goes into cardiac arrest right after the procedure ends. She brings a claim against the doctor who administered the anesthesia and against the doctor performing the procedure, claiming that they failed to perform alternative testing not involving anesthesia and improperly administered the anesthesia. The defendants denied liability. The parties settled before trial, with the doctor administering the anesthesia responsible for $375,000 and the biopsy-performing doctor responsible for $125,000.
- 2015, California: $500,000 Settlement. A 60-year-old male is admitted to the hospital with obstructive jaundice. He undergoes an endoscopic procedure, during which complications arise from the administration of anesthesia, and he dies. His minor son brings a medical malpractice suit, which was resolved at mediation for $500,000.
- 2015, Michigan: $120,000 Settlement. A 75-year-old woman is a patient at Harper University Hospital, planning to undergo an MRI with unconscious sedation. Immediately after the induction, she became unresponsive and hypotensive. She dies. She claims against the hospital and anesthesia services, claiming they were negligent in providing the anesthesia in inappropriate doses and failing to control her blood pressure and heart rate. The case settles for $120,000.
- 2014, California: $7,000,000 Settlement. A 31-year-old adult female goes to San Bernardino Community Hospital to deliver her fourth child. During a tubal litigation following this, she suffers cardiac arrest and cerebral anoxia, resulting in a chronic vegetative state, while under the anesthesiologist’s care. His estate brings suit, alleging that there were grossly inadequate pre-operative work-ups and a communication breakdown. The parties settle for $7,000,000.
- 2014, New Jersey: $3,970,000 Verdict. An adult female is having a right knee arthroscopy done at JFK Medical Center when she experiences cardiac arrest, sepsis, and pneumonia under the care of her anesthesiologist. She claims that the anesthesiologist failed to administer drugs for cardiac arrest, assess the risks to the patient, and safeguard her airway (along with many other things). The defendants
deny violating the standard of care. But the jury awards $3,970,000, which the parties later settled at a judicial conference for $3,500,000.
- 2014, Massachusetts: $750,000 Settlement. A female patient has bilateral cosmetic eyelid surgery done by her oral maxillofacial surgeon. During the procedure, the doctor uses local injections and intravenous anesthesia. After, the woman has vision loss in both her eyes. However, during the next week, her vision diminishes until she lost her eyesight entirely after a month. A vision specialist determines she has no vision in her left eye, and an MRI shows a swollen optic nerve due to suffering optic nerve atrophy in her left eye. She brings suit against the defendant, claiming negligence in the injection of anesthesia, resulting in irreversible nerve damage. The parties agree to a $750,000 confidential settlement before trial.
- 2014, Alabama: $1,400,000 Verdict. An adult male has a kidney stone removed at St. Vincent’s East. The anesthesiologist does not supervise the administration of anesthesia by the student nurse anesthetist. After the surgery, the patient suffers from respiratory distress and cardiac arrest, resulting in permanent brain damage. She is transferred to the Long Term Care unit of Noland Hospital. About a month later, she dies from sepsis syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and hypoxic encephalopathy.
- 2014, Michigan: $7,896,538 Verdict. A 24-year-old female is hospitalized with a dilated common bile duct, nausea, and vomiting. Anesthesia is administered so an endoscopic procedure could be performed. But the patient dies after the anesthesia is administered. Her estate brings a claim alleging the doctors failed to protect her airways. The plaintiff’s lawyers also argue that IV sedation instead of general anesthesia was a medical mistake. The doctors argue that the patient’s death was from the method of anesthesia but due to a heart attack and pulmonary embolism. A jury reaches a verdict for the plaintiff for $7,896,538.
- 2014, Pennsylvania: $1,100,000 Settlement. A woman undergoes sinus surgery and dies due to respiratory issues and surgical cardiac arrest complications from general anesthesia. She brings suit against the doctors, claiming they failed to perform adequate pre-op workups and should have been aware of possible post-surgical complications, and further that the oxygen and airway levels were not properly monitored. A lump-sum settlement agreement for $1,100,000 was reached.
Finding an Anesthesia Malpractice Lawyer
If you live in the Baltimore-Washington area and believe you have been a victim of negligent administration of anesthesia in Maryland, call 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.