Albuquerque Anesthesia & Intubation Errors Lawyer
Most surgeries are not possible without intubating a patient and placing him or her under anesthesia. When an anesthesia or intubation error takes place, it can compromise the entire procedure and cause serious patient injuries and deaths. If you or a loved one is a victim of one of these types of medical malpractice, please contact The Fine Law Firm to request a free consultation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We can help you get through this difficult time using personalized legal services that fight for justice and fair financial compensation.
Why We’re the Right Law Firm for You
- We have decades of experience handling medical malpractice cases. Experience is important when dealing with such a complicated and in-depth practice area.
- Our attorneys are locally respected and nationally recognized. What’s most important to us, however, is the satisfaction of our clients.
- Our medical malpractice lawyers are reasonable with their fees. We handle most cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning no win = no fees.
What Is an Anesthesia Error?
An anesthesia error refers to a preventable or careless mistake made by an anesthesiologist, resulting in injury, harm or death to a patient. Anesthesiologists have complicated jobs. They must carefully analyze a patient’s medical history and physical makeup to calculate the exact mixture and amount of anesthesia that is safe for the patient while also rendering the patient unconscious for the operation.
Any amount of negligence or carelessness during this process can result in a patient receiving too much or not enough anesthesia. Too much can cause serious brain damage to the patient. Not enough anesthesia can lead to anesthesia awareness, where a patient wakes up during a surgery and is aware of what’s happening but cannot move or speak. This can cause significant emotional and psychological distress.
What Is an Intubation Error?
Intubation is the process of placing a tube in a patient’s windpipe so that a machine can breathe for the patient in an emergency situation or during a surgery. When intubating a patient, the physician must use care to properly insert the tube into the patient’s trachea and correctly pair it with anesthesia. If the health care provider makes a mistake when intubating a patient, the patient may not receive the correct amount of oxygen or anesthesia.
Most Common Types of Anesthesia Errors in New Mexico
There are three types of anesthesia: general, regional and local. General anesthesia impacts the entire body. It renders the patient unconscious so that he or she is completely unaware of what is happening during the procedure. Regional anesthesia does not render the patient unconscious, but it numbs a large part of the body. Local anesthesia only numbs a small area of tissue, if the patient needs a minor procedure.
Although errors can be made when administering any type of anesthesia, general anesthesia comes with the highest level of risk for a patient. Errors made while a patient is under general anesthesia have the highest potential of causing serious and permanent damage to the brain and other organs. Common types of anesthesia errors in New Mexico include:
- Failing to obtain a patient’s informed consent
- Improperly instructing a patient before, during or after a procedure
- Administering too much or too little anesthesia
- Failing to identify patient allergies or potential adverse drug interactions
- Using the incorrect anesthesia mixture
- Administering the wrong anesthetic
- Delaying the delivery of anesthesia
- Incorrectly intubating a patient
- Failing to monitor a patient’s oxygen levels
- Failing to monitor blood pressure and heart function
- Dangerously prolonged sedation
- Equipment breakdowns or malfunctions
When handling something as complex and delicate as anesthesia, health care providers must use the highest level of care. Making even a minor mistake can have dire consequences for the patient. If you are not sure what type of anesthesia error caused your injury, our lawyers can conduct an investigation to identify the issue. Then, we can identify all parties who contributed to your injury and help you with the claims filing process.
It is extremely important for a medical practitioner to correctly intubate a patient and administer the right amount and dosage of anesthesia for an operation or procedure. Any mistake or lapse in judgment during these processes can compromise the patient’s health and safety. Common injuries suffered because of these mistakes include:
- Respiratory injuries
- Cuts, scrapes or punctures inside of the mouth or airway
- Damage to the larynx
- Tooth damage
- Nerve damage
- Brain hypoxia (diminished oxygen)
- Brain anoxia (total lack of oxygen)
- Traumatic or acquired brain injuries
- Permanent brain damage
- Coma or death
If you or someone you love suffered any type of injury or infection that you believe is connected to a preventable anesthesia or intubation error, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit in New Mexico could compensate your family for losses such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, the cost of bringing a lawsuit, and more.
Why Do Anesthesia Errors Happen?
Anesthesia errors are preventable. They occur most often when a party responsible for administering anesthesia or supervising a patient is careless or negligent. If a trained and licensed medical professional makes a careless mistake, he or she can be held responsible for a patient’s related injuries and losses due to an anesthesia error. Pursuing financial compensation for your injury starts with identifying how and why the anesthesia error occurred.
An investigation of an anesthesia error in Albuquerque may find one or more of the following issues:
- Lack of proper training
- Inadequate total experience
- Inadequate familiarity with equipment or devices
- Lack of communication with the team
- Working in haste or while distracted
- Inattention or carelessness
- Lack of proper supervision
- Mental and physical factors, such as fatigue
Medical procedures involving anesthesia require the presiding medical practitioner to carefully review the patient’s medical history, allergies and current medications. Then, the anesthesiologist must concoct the correct analgesic drug based on the patient’s individual traits, including age and weight. The anesthesiologist must administer exactly the correct dosage. Finally, the patient must be properly monitored throughout the procedure. If a medical professional is negligent during any of these tasks, a preventable anesthesia error could seriously injure a patient.
How to Prove an Anesthesia Error Claim
In a medical malpractice case, the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff – the injured party. It is the plaintiff’s responsibility to provide clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s fault or negligence to win the case. Proving negligence requires clear and convincing evidence of four key elements:
- A patient-doctor relationship existed between the plaintiff and defendant, giving the defendant a duty to adhere to the medical industry’s standards of care.
- The defendant breached the duty of care, meaning he or she committed an act or omission that fell short of the required standards.
- The defendant’s negligence is the main or proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries; the injury would not have occurred but for the defendant’s breach of the duty of care.
- The plaintiff suffered compensable losses because of the anesthesia error, such as physical harm, emotional damage or financial losses.
Establishing negligence in a medical malpractice claim may require evidence such as medical records, witness statements and medical expert testimony. Hiring an attorney can make it easier to meet your burden of proof as the injured victim.
Damages Available to Anesthesia Injury Victims
The damages, or financial compensation, available to an anesthesia injury victim in New Mexico depends on the specific case. There is no such thing as an average medical malpractice settlement. This is why it is important to speak to an attorney about the value of your case before accepting a settlement offer from an insurance company. A lawyer can analyze your case and identify all of the losses for which you are entitled compensation as a victim.
Although each case is unique, many plaintiffs qualify for financial compensation for the following:
- Medical bills. The present and future costs of emergency care, hospital stays, additional procedures, medical devices, nursing care, rehabilitation, therapies, medications and any other medical needs connected to injuries from an anesthesia error.
- Lost wages. Compensation to cover all of the wages the victim lost by taking time off of work to heal and recover. This may also include lost future capacity to earn if the victim suffered a long-term or permanent disability.
- Pain and suffering. The mental, emotional and psychological toll of suffering through an anesthesia error and dealing with the aftermath, including physical pain from injuries, emotional distress, mental anguish, embarrassment, disfigurement and post-traumatic stress.
- Lost enjoyment of life. An amount deemed reasonable for the victim’s lost enjoyment or quality of life due to the injuries suffered because of an anesthesia error. These damages may be available in a case involving a long-term injury.
- Out-of-pocket costs. Any other financial losses connected to the anesthesia error, such as the price of travel or transportation, legal fees and court costs, and costs connected to a disability. A settlement or verdict should make the victim financially whole again.
Although awarded less often than these compensatory damages, punitive damages are also a possibility in an anesthesia error lawsuit. Punitive damages are awarded to punish a defendant rather than compensate a victim. To receive punitive damages, a plaintiff must show that the defendant’s actions were reckless or intentional rather than only negligent. An attorney from the Fine Law Firm can negotiate maximum financial compensation for your specific anesthesia error case using aggressive legal strategies.
Anesthesia Errors Injury Statute of Limitations New Mexico
Every state has a statute of limitations on filing civil lawsuits. A statute of limitations is a law governing how long a victim has to file a claim before the deadline expires and the right to file is barred. In New Mexico, the statute of limitations on bringing a medical malpractice claim – including anesthesia errors injury claims – is three years from the date of the incident of malpractice.
If you did not discover the anesthesia error until later, the three-year clock does not start ticking until the date of discovery or the date that you reasonably should have discovered your injury. Some exceptions to this law exist, but most claims filed after three years have already passed are rejected by the courts. This is why it is imperative to contact an attorney in New Mexico as soon as possible after sustaining an injury from an anesthesia error.
How Our Attorneys Can Help
Medical malpractice cases are some of the most complicated lawsuits in New Mexico. Medical malpractice is a highly nuanced and complex practice area, dealing with highly detailed injury mechanics and professional standards of care. Correctly handling an anesthesia error claim requires assistance from an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. A medical malpractice attorney will know all of New Mexico’s related laws and how to properly navigate them on your behalf.
At the Fine Law Firm, our lawyers have been representing clients during medical malpractice lawsuits for many years. As your attorneys, we can help your case in the following ways:
- Listening to your story (at no cost or obligation) to let you know if your case has merit.
- Explaining New Mexico’s medical malpractice laws without the legal jargon.
- Investigating the anesthesia error and identifying the at-fault party or parties.
- Filling out and filing confusing legal paperwork for you before the deadline.
- Preserving and collecting evidence that can be used to support your injury claim.
- Hiring medical experts to testify during your case.
- Negotiating a fair settlement with an insurance company.
- Representing you and your family during a medical malpractice trial, if necessary.
We will work relentlessly to support your case and ensure that it has everything it needs to succeed. The full extent of our resources will be used to support your anesthesia error injury claim as we fight for the results that you need. From start to finish, your lawyer will be by your side to provide you with greater peace of mind. We care about our clients and are passionate in the pursuit of justice for negligent anesthesia errors. Learn more about how we can help you during a free consultation.
Free Medical Malpractice Evaluation in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Find out if you have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Albuquerque during a free initial consultation with an attorney from The Fine Law Firm. We have over 40 years of experience representing clients during medical malpractice claims. Our lawyers can guide you through the legal process while answering your questions and protecting your rights and best interests.
Learn more about intubation and anesthesia errors, or medical malpractice law in general, by contacting our attorneys today. Call (505) 889-3463 or send us an online message for your free case review.