At The Mellino Law Firm, we have extensive experience handling anesthesia error claims. Our founding attorney, Chris Mellino, has personally handled several anesthesia lawsuits—and won. Chris represented a woman who, on September 10, 2010, underwent elective surgery. Beforehand, she told several people that she was severely allergic to the drug Atrovent and this was noted in her chart.
“Her body shut down shortly after the anesthesia doctor chose to give her a drug that was almost identical to the drug she’s allergic to,” Chris told jurors in 2013. “Not only that, but they were completely caught off-guard by the anesthesia allergy. The anesthesia doctor wasn’t even in the room when the patient stopped breathing.” In this clear case of negligence, the jury awarded the plaintiff $3 million.
If an anesthesia complication caused death or serious injury, contact our office today for a free consultation, or request attorney Chris Mellino‘s free guide to filing a medical malpractice claim in Ohio.
Call (440) 276-3535 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our anesthesia injury attorneys in Cleveland.
How Do Anesthesia Complications Happen?
On August 4, 2011, Time magazine reported that general anesthesia-related deaths are on the rise since more people are being operated on these days.
“Anesthesia can be particularly risky on older patients with heart problems or high blood pressure,” the article stated. In fact, 1 in 10 patients over age 65 die each year.
To lessen the risk of overdose, scientists are studying how to administer personalized doses of propofol, according to an October 24, 2013, story on medicalnewstoday.com.
“With the growing use of anesthetics in the elderly and other at-risk groups, understanding the minimal dose required to induce the necessary level of anesthesia is hugely important,” said Prof. Hugh Perry, who chairs the Neurosciences and Mental Health Board at the Medical Research Council.
On the other hand, if a patient is given too little anesthesia, he or she may awaken during surgery, yet be unable to speak or move. This condition, called anesthesia awareness, results in the ability to feel pain during surgery as well as the ability to hear and remember what was said in the operating room. This may cause post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
While scientists work on striking the right balance, “[M]edicine is a human business,” says one doctor who recently spoke with komonews.com. “Even the most skilled surgeons and careful cardiologists make mistakes sometimes.”
Anesthesia Error Cases Our Firm Has Handled
Chris has focused on anesthesia complications throughout his career. As Verdicts, Settlements & Tactics reported in August 2000, he and his former partner settled one claim for $22.5 million after an epidural anesthesia mistake rendered a 36-year-old mother brain damaged, paralyzed, and unable to communicate. They settled another for $15 million after an hour-long incident left a 21-month-old child with brain damage and spastic quadriplegia.
Chris also won a $3,050,000 verdict for his 32-year-old client who had an allergic reaction to a contraindicated medication prior to undergoing anesthesia. She had to be life-flighted to another hospital but suffers from life-altering injuries.
If you suspect that anesthesia complications caused death or serious personal injury, contact our Cleveland anesthesia error lawyers today for a free consultation.