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Can I File a Lawsuit Against U.S. Anesthesia Partners?

Can I File a Lawsuit Against U.S. Anesthesia Partners?

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Can I File a Lawsuit Against U.S. Anesthesia Partners?

Having to undergo surgery can be worrying and stressful. However, when at our most vulnerable, we have no choice but to put our trust in medical professionals. While mistakes can happen with any minor or major procedure, physicians must deliver a good standard of care. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, ten percent of deaths in this country are now due to medical malpractice. 

When anesthesiologists act negligently, the consequences can be horrific for victims and potentially lead to emotional problems, permanent injuries, coma, and even death. If you got hurt by an anesthesiologist, Morgan & Morgan can stand beside you. Our medical malpractice lawyers could file a U.S. Anesthesia Partners lawsuit on your behalf and fight for what you deserve. Get help today and contact us to schedule a free case review.

What Is U.S. Anesthesia Partners?

U.S. Anesthesia Partners (USAP) provides anesthesia staffing and services to more than 2.3 million patients yearly. The group works with over 4,200 clinicians with experts in various fields such as pediatric and cardiac anesthesia, among others. The company currently operates in the following states:

  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Colorado
  • Arizona
  • Nevada
  • Washington
  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas
  • Maryland

Recently, the group faced a wrongful death lawsuit alleging an anesthesiologist’s negligence as the cause of a patient’s death. The deceased patient’s family and U.S. Anesthesia Partners settled for $4 million in December 2021.

The Different Types of Anesthesia

There can be many different types of anesthesia, all coming with varying amounts of risk for the patient. The four main categories of anesthesia include:

General Anesthesia

During general anesthesia, patients should not feel anything or be aware of their surroundings. Several medications can induce general anesthesia, including gases, vapors, and IV-induced substances. Doctors use a general anesthetic to treat pain, induce sleep, and relax muscles.

Potential Complications of General Anesthesia

Side effects of general anesthesia can include:

  • Drowsiness after waking up
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea

While severe reactions can occur with general anesthesia, they tend to be rare. However, older individuals and those with pre-existing conditions can face higher risks of severe reactions such as a stroke, heart attack, pneumonia, and death. 

Regional Anesthesia

Regional anesthesia involves numbing a particular body area, so the patient does not feel pain during a procedure. An anesthesiologist injects local anesthesia near the nerves providing sensation to the specific body area. Epidural and spinal injections are common types of regional anesthesia. Both are frequently used in childbirth, hip replacements, and knee replacements.

Potential Complications of Regional Anesthesia

Regional anesthesia can cause nerve damage since a doctor injects the substance close to nerves or the spinal cord. Symptoms of nerve damage include numbness, pain, and weakness. Regional anesthesia can also cause lung or heart problems and infections in some patients.

Sedation 

Sedation makes the patient feel drowsy, relaxed, and sleepy. Sedation can be mild, moderate, or deep, depending on the procedure. The patient is usually asleep when deeply sedated, similar to general anesthesia. Sedation is used for various minor procedures, including eye operations and colonoscopies.

Risks of Sedation

Sedation can have some short and long-term side effects. Short-term side effects can include sleepiness, dizziness, and having trouble thinking clearly. If sedation medication is used regularly, it can cause dependency and other side effects, including:

  • Mental health problems
  • Memory loss
  • Liver failure

Local Anesthesia

Most of us have experienced local anesthesia when at the dentist or undergoing a minor surgical procedure. Local anesthesia can numb a small area and is usually injected or applied as an ointment. Doctors typically use local anesthesia in combination with sedation for minor surgeries.  

Potential Side Effects of Local Anesthesia

Although local anesthesia is perhaps the safest form of anesthesia, it can come with side effects and risks, including:

  • Allergy 
  • Continued numbness or tingling
  • Headaches 
  • Blurred vision

Were You Adequately Informed of Anesthesia Risks?

Before you agree to a surgical procedure, your doctor should discuss anesthesia options and risks. Most hospitals require patients to sign a form stating the risks and complications associated with a procedure and anesthesia. However, if your doctor or anesthetist failed to inform you of the potential risks of a procedure or anesthetic, and you suffered an injury, you could have a medical malpractice case. 

Anesthesia Medical Malpractice

Anesthesia medical malpractice can have devastating consequences. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), some anesthesiologists have been charged with manslaughter and homicide. When an anesthesiologist or nurse makes an error, the patient could face tragic consequences, including permanent injuries and death. Some examples of anesthesia medical malpractice include:

Pre-Surgery Mistakes

Anesthesiologists must review patients’ medical records comprehensively prior to surgery. They should also communicate pre-surgery instructions to the patient, for example, about avoiding food, drink, or medications before surgery. Anesthesiologists neglecting these duties could make mistakes leading to injuries.

Incorrect Anesthesia Dosage

Anesthesiologists are personally responsible for administering the correct dose of anesthetic to patients. Too much anesthetic can lead to a lack of oxygen, brain damage, and death. Administering too little anesthesia, on the other hand, can lead to the patient waking up during the procedure.  

Intubation Errors

Intubation is necessary to assist the patient’s breathing during surgery. However, if an anesthesiologist inserts the tube improperly, the patient may not get enough oxygen or suffer from other complications, including:

  • Throat damage
  • Vocal cord damage
  • Dental injuries
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Nerve damage in the neck

Neglecting to Monitor a Patient 

An anesthesiologist must monitor a patient’s vital life signs during the surgical procedure. If an anesthesiologist fails to monitor a patient adequately, they may not be able to intervene quickly enough in the event of complications. Moreover, an anesthesiologist turning off monitoring equipment intentionally or accidentally could face a medical malpractice claim.

Unintended Intraoperative Awareness (Being Awake During the Operation)

Anesthesiologists’ errors can lead to patients being conscious during operations despite having received a general anesthetic. For example, an anesthesiologist may have given the anesthesia too late or administered too little. For a patient, being awake during their operation can be horrific. They may not be able to alert their doctor due to having received muscle relaxants prior to surgery. When unintended inoperative awareness does occur, it can lead to lifelong psychological problems, including:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping

You Could File a U.S. Anesthesia Partners Lawsuit

To have a medical malpractice case against an anesthesiologist, you and your lawyer must prove the following:

A Doctor-Patient Relationship Existed

If the anesthesiologist in question treated you during a surgical procedure, you automatically had a doctor-patient relationship.

The Anesthetist Was Negligent

Unfortunately, no anesthesia is risk-free, and complications can occur. Experiencing a side effect or complications is not usually grounds for filing a lawsuit. The anesthetist must have acted negligently to have a medical malpractice case. This element of a medical malpractice lawsuit can be challenging to prove. Medical expert witnesses are usually required to explain why and how the doctor was negligent.

The Anesthetist’s Negligence Caused Harm

Proving that a doctor’s negligence caused harm can be challenging. There could be many reasons why a patient dies or suffers an injury after surgery, including their own ill-health. Typically, expert witnesses are called upon for assessing whether a doctor’s negligence caused harm to the patient. 

The Injury Caused Damages

You would not have a malpractice case unless you suffered damages, whether financial, emotional, or physical. 

Medical Malpractice Leading to Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one unexpectedly due to a doctor’s negligence or carelessness is heartbreaking. A successful lawsuit could provide you with the compensation you need to pay the bills associated with your loved one’s passing. Depending on the facts of the case, you could qualify for the following wrongful death damages and more:

  • Funeral costs
  • Loss of services and benefits from the deceased
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of income
  • Medical expenses

Our compassionate and experienced medical malpractice attorneys can determine whether you have a case and help you fight for what you deserve.

Damages Available in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Since anesthesiology errors can cause significant pain, suffering, and permanent injuries, victims could be entitled to considerable damages. However, what you can receive will depend on numerous factors, including the extent of your injury, your medical costs, and other losses. Generally, medical malpractice victims could recover:

  • All past, present, and future medical expenses
  • Costs for medical devices
  • Loss of wages and future expected wages
  • Awards for pain and suffering
  • Compensation for a permanent disability

You could also receive other damages in your specific lawsuit.

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FAQ

Morgan & Morgan

  • What Are Common Injuries Due to Anesthesiology Negligence?

    Anesthesiology negligence can have wide-ranging consequences for the health of patients. Injuries due to too much or wrongly administered anesthesia can potentially cause:

    • Brain injury
    • Nerve damage
    • Heart attack
    • Stroke
    • Spinal cord damage
    • Birth defects
    • Permanent nerve damage
    • Coma
    • Paralysis
    • Death

    If you or a loved one experienced a significant injury due to an anesthesiology error, we can evaluate your case and could help you pursue damages from the liable party.

  • Who Is Liable in a U.S. Anesthesia Partners Lawsuit?

    Although victims of anesthesiology errors often focus on the anesthesiologist, you could have additional defendants in a lawsuit, such as: 

    • Doctors and other medical staff
    • A hospital or medical center
    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Manufacturers of medical devices and equipment

    Medical malpractice claims can be complex and involve several liable parties. Therefore, consider consulting with a medical malpractice lawyer who can help you identify all potential avenues for compensation.

  • My Loved One Died Due to Anesthesia Malpractice; What Are My Next Best Steps?

    If your loved one passed away due to an anesthesiologist’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation with a wrongful death claim. Preserving evidence, such as medical records, physician statements, and other material can be crucial. Consider seeking legal advice as soon as possible to determine whether you have a legal claim against a medical professional or hospital. 

    A medical malpractice attorney from our firm can help you navigate the legal process involved with a wrongful death claim. Our motivated attorneys have, to date, recovered more than $10 billion in damages. We could help your family get justice and compensation too. 

  • How Morgan & Morgan Fights for Victims of Medical Malpractice

    Medical malpractice is a complex field. An attorney handling medical malpractice cases should be experienced in pursuing such claims and have a successful track record of winning cases. They should also have an excellent understanding of the legal aspects and medical issues involved in a claim. 

    Proving a case depends on the testimony of qualified medical expert witnesses. A medical malpractice lawyer must be well-connected in the medical world to identify suitable professionals who can testify on your behalf. Morgan & Morgan has the resources and lawyers to handle malpractice cases. Our medical malpractice lawyers:

    • Have a good understanding of legal and medical issues
    • Can provide relevant expert witnesses to testify on your behalf
    • Are not afraid to take on powerful physician groups, doctors, and hospitals
    • Can gather and organize the evidence required to prove medical malpractice
    • Can calculate your past, present, and future losses comprehensively
    • Know how to determine all responsible and liable parties in your case
    • Can fight vigorously for the best possible outcome and maximum compensation

    You have no out-of-pocket costs or attorney’s fees to worry about when we take your case. We understand that victims of medical malpractice have enough on their plate, including steep medical bills. We won’t charge you a dime unless our attorneys win the case and successfully recover a settlement for you. 

    Get Started Today

    Morgan & Morgan understands that compensation cannot bring back your loved one or restore your health. However, recovering what you deserve can help rebuild your life after losing a loved one or suffering a severe injury. 

    Morgan & Morgan is in your corner. Our lawyers have seen just how devastating medical malpractice can be for individuals and families, who often see their lives forever changed. We fight hard to hold negligent doctors and physician groups, such as U.S. Anesthesia Partners, accountable. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to take your first steps toward recovery.

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