Medication Errors

When Are Anesthesia Errors Considered Medical Malpractice?

When Are Anesthesia Errors Considered Medical Malpractice?

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It’s estimated that there are well over 50 million surgeries performed in the U.S. each year. With a number like that, it’s extremely fortunate that medical technology has made anesthesia better and safer than it ever has been. However, even with modern technology, mistakes with anesthesia happen – and when they do, the results can be devastating, even permanent injury or death.

When an injury results from an anesthesia error, you may be entitled to compensation via a medical malpractice claim. However, not all medical mistakes are medical malpractice, so it’s important that you consult an attorney to help you determine how to proceed with your case.

In the meantime, it’s important for you to understand what these types of anesthesia mistakes look like and what their effects might be.

Types of Surgical Anesthesia

Anesthesia is used to prevent patients from suffering pain during surgery. Various forms have been used throughout the years. Currently, medicine uses three kinds of anesthesia:

Local anesthesia – This type of anesthesia is used to numb a specific part of the body and is generally used for less invasive procedures, like a mole removal or biopsy.

Regional anesthesia – This type of anesthesia numbs a larger area of the body. An epidural and spinal block are examples of regional anesthetics.

General anesthesia – This type of anesthesia causes the patient to be completely unconscious, so they are unable to feel pain.

Specially trained medical professionals administer anesthesia and monitor the patient during surgery. Mistakes can be made by anesthesiologists, but also by doctors, nurses, or any other medical staff member who is part of the medical team caring for the patient. When there is a breakdown in communication between these team members, or when a member is negligent in some way, errors can occur with serious consequences.

Types of Anesthesia Mistakes

You may think that anesthesia errors only occur during surgery, however, they can actually happen before, during, or after an operation or procedure.

Anesthesia mistakes that are preoperative include:

Failing to educate the patient about the possible risks of the procedure they are about to undergo

Failing to thoroughly review the medical history of the patient for potential complications

Failing to provide the patient with preoperative instructions (for example, not letting a patient know that they need to fast for a certain number of hours prior to the surgery)

Anesthesia mistakes that happen during surgery include:

Delaying the administration of anesthesia

Administering too much or too little anesthesia for the operation

Administering the wrong type of anesthesia for the surgery

Failing to monitor or administer surgical oxygen properly

Failing to monitor the vital signs of the patient

Improperly inserting the intubation tube

Using equipment that is defective or faulty

Failing to identify or treat developing complications

A member of the surgical team being under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the procedure

Anesthesia-related mistakes that occur after surgery include:

Leaving a patient sedated for too long

Leaving a patient who is still anesthetized unattended

Failing to provide post-operative instructions

Complications and Injuries Related to Anesthesia Errors

Errors involving anesthesia can cause a variety of complications and injuries. While some are minor and temporary, some can be severe, serious, and permanent. Complications and injuries include:

Preoperative pain that exceeds what the procedure itself should cause

Nausea and vomiting

Delirium or confusion

Injuries due to intubation

Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction)

Respiratory issues

Nerve damage

Blood clots

Brain damage

Heart attack



Even when the best care is provided by medical staff, mistakes can happen. For anesthesia mistakes to be considered medical malpractice, it has to be proven that a medical professional failed to meet the accepted standard of care or that they behaved negligently, and that the error caused the patient injury or harm. Hiring an experienced medical malpractice attorney is in your best interest to help you prove these details.

If You Suffered Injury Due to an Anesthesia Mistake

If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to an anesthesia error, or you suspect that is the case, the Law Office of Joseph Osborne can help you determine how to proceed with your claim. Contact our office today for a free consultation and review of your case.

Is Nursing Home Abuse Considered Medical Malpractice?

Is Nursing Home Abuse Considered Medical Malpractice?

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When parents become a certain age, many children have to consider that they may require more care than they can provide for themselves. When they reach the stage in which they need help with taking care of themselves and doing daily tasks, it’s natural to turn to nursing homes for help. It’s expected that when an elderly relative has to be placed in a nursing home, that they will receive care with kindness and competence, and proper medical care. However, that isn’t always what happens. Some nursing homes do not meet the duty of care that is expected of them and this can result in personal injuries for their patients.

If you have an elderly relative who you suspect is not receiving the proper level of care in a nursing home and they have been injured, your first priority should be to get them out of the environment and into a safe one. The very next thing you should do is consult with a lawyer who is experienced with nursing home abuse cases to help you gather the necessary evidence to help you with a case.

When Is Nursing Home Abuse Medical Malpractice?

Typically, the reason that people move into nursing homes is because they are not able to take care of their medical needs (which are often increasing) on their own at home. One of the most important services that nursing homes provide their residents is medical care. Unfortunately, there are times when they don’t do so appropriately, and it results in injury. Your medical malpractice lawyer will have an extensive understanding of nursing home liability and be able to tell you when an injury sustained there is considered medical malpractice.

Some of the most common forms of nursing home abuse that are considered medical malpractice are:

Medication errors

Physical or sexual abuse of residents

Malnourishment or dehydration

Failing to obtain the care of a doctor or registered nurse to access residents’ medical issues or complaints

Unsanitary conditions that cause infections

Malfunctioning medical equipment

Untrained, or insufficiently trained staff

Many nursing home residents are already in a declining or fragile state, which means that any neglect or abuse that they suffer may lead to serious injuries – even premature death.

Keep in mind that if your loved one is injured at a nursing home, it’s likely that the facility’s administrators will be cooperative and seem understanding, taking action to correct any errors or misdoings. Remember, that even so, they are looking out for their own best interests, not those of your loved one. It isn’t uncommon for nursing homes to offer families compensation for an injury and asking them to sign documentation that releases them from responsibility for the abuse. If this happens to your family, don’t sign anything and seek help from a medical malpractice attorney immediately.

Get Help for Your Nursing Home Medical Malpractice Case

If you have a relative who resides in a Florida nursing home, be aware of changes in their physical and mental health, and if you suspect nursing home abuse, contact Boca Raton medical malpractice attorney, Joe Osborne, for help with your case. He will provide you with the guidance you need and will advocate for your loved one in a lawsuit if it is a case of medical malpractice. Call today at (561) 293-2600, to get started on your case. Don’t delay, you have a limited amount of time in which to file your claim.

Boca Raton Medication Error Lawyer Discusses Common Drug Mistakes

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According to a study published in 2017 by the journal Clinical Toxicology, medication mistakes are on the rise. Estimates by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reveal that about 1.3 million Americans are injured by drug errors every year.

Although accidents can happen with any kind of medication, certain drugs are particularly susceptible to errors. Here are three common medications that can be easily confused with other drugs.

Zantac vs. Zyrtec

Zantac is a drug used to treat heartburn, whereas Zyrtec is a medication used for people with allergies. Both drugs are sold over-the-counter, but both are also available in prescription strength. If taken improperly, both can also cause serious problems, including issues with the liver and kidneys.

Lamictal vs. Lamisil

Lamictal is an epilepsy drug. Lamisil is used to treat fungal infections. In 2013, a woman in Illinois developed painful and disfiguring blisters all over her body after her doctor prescribed a potentially deadly combination of Lamictal and Depakote. The rash was caused by Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a drug interaction that caused blisters to spread inside her lungs and left her fighting for her life. Although she recovered, she is legally blind and suffers constant lung infections. She saw several doctors before one finally identified the syndrome.

Celebrex vs. Celexa

While Celebrex is an arthritis medication, Celexa is used to treat depression. It’s easy to see how these two medications could get mixed up given the similarity in their names. However, it only takes one mistake in the chain of distribution from the drug manufacturer to the doctor and the pharmacist to bring about a deadly result.

Check Your Medications Carefully

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has issued a list of hundreds of drugs that have similar-sounding names to other medications. To avoid getting your medication mixed up with another drug, follow these safety tips:

  • Double Check Your Prescriptions – Don’t assume your prescription has been checked and triple checked. Pharmacists and doctors are human, and they can make mistakes just like anyone else.
  • Know What You’re Taking – If the doctor prescribed it, it must be safe, right? Actually, not always. If a doctor is in a rush, he or she may not ask you detailed health questions, including a family history of bad drug reactions. Always ask the doctor to explain what you’re taking and why.
  • Talk to the Pharmacist – Don’t skip your chance to discuss your medication with the pharmacist. Your health is too important to leave to chance.


Boca Raton Medication Error Lawyer Discusses Drug Errors

Boca Raton medication error lawyer Joe Osborne explains, “Drug errors can happen in the doctor’s office, in hospitals, and inside pharmacies. Whether it’s an interaction between two or more different drugs, or a mistake in which a doctor prescribes the wrong drug or mixes up two patients, drug mistakes can kill.”

Contact a Boca Raton Medication Error Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries caused by a negligent doctor, hospital, or pharmacist, don’t wait to speak to a lawyer. Contact Boca Raton personal injury lawyer Joe Osborne today at (561) 800-4011.