While anesthesia malpractice is not as common as other medical errors, it does still happen with devastating consequences.
We don’t often read about cases of anesthesia malpractice, but they do happen and may result in the death of someone undergoing surgery. For example in a Florida medical malpractice suit, an 18-year old girl died as a result of malignant hyperthermia. The plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist performing the operation on an out-patient basis were the defendants in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleged that the surgeon and anesthesiologist failed to meet acceptable medical standards when she had a life threatening reaction to the anesthesia administered for breast surgery. The case hinged on the fact that the doctors failed to recognize a reaction to the anesthesia and because they missed the signs of this deadly reaction, they didn’t give the proper treatment to save her life.
This patient survived long enough to be transferred to another medical facility where she succumbed to hyperthermia. Malignant hyperthermia is inherited and only one parent needs to be carrying the gene for a child to inherit it. It causes a rapid rise in body temperatures and severe muscle contractions as a result of receiving anesthesia. Signs and symptoms include bleeding, dark brown urine, muscle rigidity and aching, and a very fast rise in temperature to 105 degrees F or higher.
The Florida lawsuit alleged the doctors could have treated the patient with intravenous Dantrolene sodium (muscle relaxant) had they paid attention to the patient after surgery. Dantrolene sodium was given later at another medical facility, but it was too late.
At the root of this case is the contention that the doctors did not follow accepted medical practices in monitoring their patient, and as a result of that negligence, caused her death. If they had been paying attention and were capable of identifying malignant hyperthermia, the patient would still be alive today. Evidently, recognized medical standards were not followed with disastrous consequences.
It is medical errors like this Florida case where patients have the right to speak to a medical malpractice attorney about filing a med mal lawsuit. They need to know their rights and how to go about dealing with the devastation such cases dish out.
It goes without saying that we rely on doctors to do their jobs and not allow us to come to any harm. In instances such as this case, something went drastically wrong and an innocent victim paid the price.
Michael G. Smith is a Little Rock injury lawyer and Little Rock accident lawyer, practicing personal injury law in Little Rock Arkansas. To learn more about Little Rock injury lawyer, Little Rock accident lawyer, Little Rock person injury lawyer, Little Rock malpractice lawyer, Little Rock injury attorney, Little Rock wrongful death attorney, visit Arkansaslawhelp.com.