Anesthesia Malpractice

Cleveland Anesthesia Complications Attorney Christopher MellinoIf an anesthesia complications caused death or serious injury, contact our Cleveland office today for a free consultation, or request attorney Chris Mellino‘s free guide to filing a medical malpractice claim in Ohio.

Anesthesia Lawsuits Chris Mellino Has Handled

September 10, 2010, a woman 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.

Chris has specialized in 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.

How Do Anesthesia Complications Happen?

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.

In 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

“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 (pdf), 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 “Even the most skilled surgeons and careful cardiologists make mistakes sometimes.”

If you suspect that an anesthesia complications caused death or serious personal injury, contact our Cleveland office today for a free consultation.

What Makes Mellino Law Firm Different from Other Medical Malpractice Lawyers?

First, Mellino Law Firm does not advertise. The majority of our cases come to us from attorneys and satisfied clients.

Second, Chris Mellino is respected throughout northeast Ohio for his ability to dig below the surface and make sure nothing is overlooked. In fact, Chris has worked on several landmark cases, including Moskovitz v. Mt. Sinai Medical Center (1994) and Watkins_v._Cleveland_Clinic_Foundation (1998).

Third, unlike firms that:

  • take every case that walks in the door,
  • settle those cases for the first amount offered in order to fund their next commercial to bring in even more clients, and
  • leave their clients in the hands of first-year associates and paralegals,

we are selective in the cases we take. Medical malpractice claims are time consuming and labor intensive. By only accepting a few cases at a time, we’re able to give each claim the unique attention it deserves. And, when you call us, you will speak to us, not a “case manager.”

Last but not least, we are the only medical malpractice law firm in Cleveland to be accepted into Primerus, which screens potential members by speaking to judges, other lawyers, bar associations, clients, and insurance carriers about a firm’s integrity, work product, fee structure, education, civility, and community service.

We welcome you to contact us with any questions you may have. You may also download or request anesthesia attorney Chris Mellino’s free guide to filing a medical malpractice claim in Ohio.