Anaesthetic Negligence Claims

The complete process of placing a patient under anaesthesia is a complex high-risk process which can have both minor and major consequences when this is managed incorrectly.

It is not widely realised that the training process required to become an anaesthetist is as intent as that of becoming qualified as a surgeon.

Although those managing the anaesthetic process are highly trained professionals, the complex nature of the process does mean things can go wrong, which may be considered anaesthetic negligence.

What are the types of anaesthesia?

There are three types of anaesthesia which may be administered to the patient, depending on the procedure and circumstances.

General anaesthesia

The general option uses a combination of injected drugs and inhaled gas, targeting the patient’s brain and central nervous system to render them unconscious and unaware. This option carries the highest level of risk.

Local anaesthesia

Local anaesthetic is used to prevent pain in a specific region of the body while the patient remains conscious. Of the three types of anaesthesia options, local carries the least risk.

Regional anaesthesia

A regional anaesthetic is used when a larger area of the body needs to be numbed or when local injections are unable to effectively penetrate the site. While a larger area of the body is blocked from feeling pain, this is limited.

What can go wrong when being placed under anaesthesia?

One of the major consequences can be what is called ‘anaesthetic awareness’, where a patient is conscious during surgery. For the patient, this can be a very painful and traumatic experience.

Thorough preparation before using anaesthetic is absolutely vital, to ensure it is executed safely and successfully.

We are experienced in dealing with all types of anaesthetic negligence claims.

Common anaesthetic claim errors:

  • Ineffective anaesthesia administration, where the dosage administered is too small or too large
  • Incorrect anaesthetic agents being administered
  • Failure to observe and monitor patients appropriately during anaesthesia
  • Epidurals and nerve blocks

It is crucial and expected that the correct preparation is taken before a patient is placed under anaesthesia, as this will avoid issues, errors and negligence.

Informed consent needs to be given and the patients’ medical records/information should be checked thoroughly, as this can impact the anaesthesia dosage.

Unfortunately, medical professionals do make errors that fall below their expected standard of care, leading to a variety of long and short-term health issues to the patient.

The damage caused by anaesthetic can include:

  • The psychological damage from Anaesthetic Awareness, where patients become conscious during an operation
  • Nerve damage resulting in pain or disability
  • Brain damage including strokes, due to a lack of oxygen to the brain
  • Rashes, vomiting and difficulty breathing due to anaesthetic allergies

When there has been the negligent use of anaesthetic, the repercussions and damage to the patient are often very serious. The implications are far-reaching and may not be limited to just physical damage. Patients can have long-term psychological and financial issues as a result of anaesthetic-related claims.

Ongoing expenses relating to anaesthetic errors; such as doctors’ bills, loss of income, medication and physiotherapy, should all be considered when deciding to pursue a negligence claim, just as they are considered when compensation is being decided.

Should you decide to pursue medical negligence compensation, we can offer 'no win no fee' claims in most cases, meaning you are at no financial risk.

The team at medical negligence solutions are here to help support you through your negligence claim, aiming to make the process as simple and stress-free as possible.

To find out if you’re eligible to make a claim on a no in no fee basis, contact our legal experts for a free 30 minute conversation which carries no obligation to proceed.

Frequently asked questions

How much time will I need to dedicate to my claim?

It is really up to you. You can choose to be very involved or leave the daily running of the claim entirely to us. At all stages, we will keep you fully informed on the progress of your case. In most cases, you will likely need to attend an appointment with a medical expert. You will also need to answer any questions we may have on your treatment and sign relevant paperwork. Otherwise you can leave the time consuming process of settling your case to us.

In 97% of cases, medical negligence claims are settled before going to trial. However, in the unlikely event that you are required to go to court, we will be there to support you every step of the way.