When Do Anesthesia Errors Fall Under Malpractice?

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Legally reviewed by:
Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr.
February 23, 2023

When you need to undergo surgery, it can be nerve-wracking. Every surgery has risks and the pros of getting the operation almost always outway the cons. However, you may not know how dangerous anesthesia can be when incorrectly administered. This happens often, despite the advancements in medical technology and knowledge. You’ll want to know how to proceed following anesthesia errors. If you’ve been a victim of a negligent anesthesiologist, ensuring you contact a Houston, Texas anesthesia error lawyer is vital to receiving justice for your injuries.

What Are Common Anesthesia Errors?

Anesthesia is a medical treatment that helps patients undergoing surgical procedures from feeling pain. Generally, this is called “going under,” as the use of anesthetic often puts patients in unconsciousness. However, doctors can apply this to local areas to block pain in certain body parts without putting the patient to sleep. This means the patient is awake while the procedure is completed but does not feel pain. For example, dentists often use a local anesthetic to numb one area of the mouth while pulling a tool, while an orthodontist will almost always use general anesthesia when removing all four wisdom teeth.

Unfortunately, due to the sensitivity of anesthetics, several errors can occur. These include:

  • Failure to inform the patient of the risks before administering anesthetic
  • Incorrectly dosing the anesthetic
  • Using the wrong kind of anesthetic
  • Leaving a patient under anesthesia unsupervised
  • Failing to properly identify and remedy complications

These errors can cause many injuries and complications, from brain damage to esophageal complications due to unnecessarily long intubation.

When Does This Become Malpractice?

It is unfortunate and scary to admit, but mistakes happen. However, if the doctor abandons their duty of care and does not meet the necessary standards, this can change from an unfortunate oversight to malpractice. Generally, a victim must prove a number of elements existed in order to prove that malpractice occurred.

For example, it must be proven that there was a relationship between the doctor and patient, the duty of care was established and breached, and this breach was the primary cause of injury that caused the damage. It is also essential to note that you must file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, set at two years from the date of the injury. Exceptions apply if the patient is a minor or the malpractice was not discovered until after the statute expired.

When you visit a healthcare provider for surgery, you trust they will do everything possible to protect you from harm. While accidents happen and complications arise, when malpractice is to blame, you shouln’t be left to shoulder the burden. At Davis & Davis, we understand the effects that anesthetic errors can have on a patient. If you’ve been a victim of a negligent doctor or medical professional, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you recover damages.

John A. Davis, Jr.


John A. Davis, Jr. and Steven R. Davis

February 23 2023

Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr. are experienced attorneys at Davis & Davis, a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice cases in Texas. With a deep commitment to justice that guides their ethical approach, Davis and Davis have dedicated their careers to helping victims of medical negligence. They and their team continue to advocate for clients, despite the challenges posed by Texas's cap on recoverable damages in malpractice lawsuits. Davis & Davis pride themselves on their extensive experience in the field and their readiness to meet clients across the United States.

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