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Anesthesia Errors

Rhode Island Anesthesia Negligence Attorneys

An anesthesiologist is responsible for ensuring patients remain unconscious during surgical procedures. If they make an error in the amount they administer or fail to monitor the patient during surgery, severe injury or death could occur. If you suffered harm from an anesthesia negligence accident, contact the Rhode Island medical malpractice lawyers at Crowe & Harris, LLP immediately, and we’ll help you hold the at-fault party liable for their carelessness.

When anesthesia malpractice happens, the patient could sustain severe injuries that cause long-term pain and psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You shouldn’t be financially responsible for the expenses and losses caused by someone else’s actions. The negligent party should be the one that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, mental anguish, and more.

At Crowe & Harris, LLP , our team of lawyers has over 100 years of experience assisting our clients with their anesthesia negligence cases. We will help you seek justice and compensation so you can recover and move forward with your life.

Call us today at (617) 404-3417.

Anesthesia Negligence and Associated Injuries

Anesthesia is supposed to prevent a patient from experiencing pain during an operation or medical procedure. An anesthesiologist is typically the person who administers the anesthesia and monitors the patient’s vitals to ensure it’s working and isn’t causing complications.

There are three types of anesthesia that might be used depending on the type of procedure, level of pain it could cause, and other factors:

  • Local: Numbs a localized area, such as a tooth during extraction.
  • Regional: Numbs a large section of the body, such as an epidural during childbirth.
  • General: Causes unconsciousness.


The anesthesiologist is responsible for communicating with the patient before any procedure and reviewing their medical history. They must ensure there are no allergies to specific types of anesthesia or medications that could cause a harmful reaction.

They should also discuss how to prepare for the upcoming procedure. For example, some require that people avoid eating or drinking for a specific period or stop taking certain medications days or weeks leading up to the surgery. Individuals undergoing anesthesia should be in the right physical condition, or they could suffer injuries.

Intubation and Extubation

After general anesthesia is administered, the patient might have difficulty breathing because their muscles become paralyzed. An anesthesiologist will intubate the patient by inserting a breathing tube to restore the flow of oxygen. If they don’t place the tube correctly, it could damage the trachea, mouth, brain, nerves, or heart.

Extubation is the removal of the breathing tube. Injuries can happen due to improper removal or failing to monitor the patient to ensure they’re able to breathe on their own.


It’s crucial that the correct amount of anesthesia is used during surgery. If there isn’t enough, the patient could wake up and experience excruciating pain but be unable to inform anyone. Too much anesthesia could cause brain damage or lead to a coma. The anesthesiologist should always review a patient’s chart to determine the dosage that’s adequate for keeping them unconscious or numbed throughout the entire procedure.

Patient Monitoring

It’s the anesthesiologist’s job to monitor the patient after administering the anesthesia. They must pay attention to vitals that indicate signs of distress or complications and regulate their consciousness level.


There are various types of equipment in the operating room that measures a patient’s oxygen level, heart rate, and alerts the doctors if the patient is in distress. Unfortunately, if someone turns off the alarm function or the entire machine, there’s no way of knowing if the patient is in danger.

The most common injuries resulting from the negligent acts above include:

  • Coma
  • Nerve damage
  • Asphyxia
  • Loss of motor function
  • Brain damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Stroke or heart attack
  • Paralysis
  • Anxiety, PTSD, and other mental trauma
  • Death

How to Handle an Anesthesia Negligence Accident

If you or a loved one sustained injuries due to the anesthesiologist’s error, you should take immediate action. Some legal cases take years to resolve. The sooner you start working on yours, the sooner you’ll receive financial compensation. You likely incurred expensive medical bills and other costs while attempting to recover from your injury. Crowe & Harris, LLP can help you collect sufficient evidence and prove someone else was responsible for the suffering you endured.

Following are steps you should take to protect your right to compensation:

Step 1: Notify the medical facility of what happened and fill out an incident report. You’ll want this in writing, so there’s proof that you told them about it.

Step 2: Request copies of your medical records from the procedure you had.

Step 3: Seek treatment of your injuries at a hospital or doctor’s office. Continue attending appointments until you recover.

Step 4: Obtain copies of all medical records and documentation associated with your medical treatment.

Step 5: Hire a lawyer from Crowe & Harris, LLP to assist you with your case.

How Crowe & Harris, LLP Can Help

We have the experience and resources to create an effective plan to reach our clients’ legal goals. When you hire us, we’ll handle every aspect of your case so you can focus on recovering. We understand the state laws and procedures we must follow to protect your rights and pursue the maximum available compensation. We’ll stay by your side in your fight for justice.

Intake. Once you hire us, we’ll obtain all the necessary information to work on your case. We’ll ask you specific questions and add details to your file, such as the type of anesthesia negligence that occurred, how it happened, the liable doctor, and the injuries it caused.

Prior medical history. We might have to request medical records from previous injuries and medical conditions. Sometimes insurance companies deny claims if you suffered a similar injury from another incident. We’ll need adequate evidence that your anesthesia negligence injury is entirely unrelated to past events.

Total costs. We’ll request copies of all medical bills and other documents showing how much money you lost due to your injury. Examples include:

  • Operative costs
  • Hospital bills
  • Lost wage report from the inability to work
  • Out of pocket expenses
  • Prescription medications

Witnesses. We have extensive resources to track down people who were there at the time of the medical malpractice incident. We’ll contact them and ask that they provide a witness statement.

Insurance claim. Once we determine the medical malpractice insurance company the doctor or facility uses, we’ll file a claim. We can submit the evidence we found during our investigation to prove negligence led to your injuries. When the time comes, we’ll negotiate for a fair settlement on your behalf.

Lawsuit. If we’re unable to reach a settlement agreement that covers your expenses, we can move forward with filing a lawsuit. We can sue the insurance company if they denied your claim unfairly or refused to provide an adequate settlement offer. We could also file suit against the healthcare professional and medical facility where you had the procedure, depending on the circumstances.

Determining the Value of a Medical Malpractice Case

The amount of compensation you receive depends on your economic and non-economic damages. Damages are the total losses associated with an accident or injury. Your anesthesia negligence accident most likely caused various damages.

Economic damages are all the costs resulting from an injury and the necessary treatment, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity

Non-economic damages refer to physical and emotional pain and suffering experienced as a result of the accident. Examples include:

Whether an insurance company or jury is reviewing your damages to come up with a fair monetary value, they might refer to some contributing factors. Unfortunately, non-economic damages are hard to calculate. Putting a price tag on something like pain and suffering can be very subjective. The factors they might use to determine the right financial compensation include:

  • Impact of the injury on quality of life
  • If the accident caused an impairment or disability
  • Statements made by witnesses, family, and friends
  • Effect on job-related duties and ability to complete them
  • The estimated cost of necessary medical treatment in the future
  • Length of the recovery period
  • Type of injury sustained and how serious it is
  • Mental or emotional anguish caused by the incident
  • Doctor-prescribed medication to treat pain or symptoms of the injury
  • Total expenses associated with the case

Why Choose Crowe & Harris, LLP ?

Our legal team will advocate assertively for your rights and seek the justice you deserve. When you hire us, we’ll provide one-on-one attention, support, and guidance from start to finish of the legal process. You can depend on us to be there whenever you need us.

We work on a contingency-fee-basis, so you don’t have to worry about paying upfront fees or costs. We don’t get paid unless you get paid. We also offer a free initial consultation so you can meet with us to discuss the details of your case at no risk.

We know this has been a traumatic experience. We’ll help you recover from your injuries and hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. You won’t have to go through this alone. We’ll stay by your side until the very end.

If an anesthesia negligence accident caused your injuries, contact Crowe & Harris, LLP at (617) 404-3417. We’ll begin working on your case immediately and collect evidence that gets you the financial compensation you deserve.

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