Supreme Court Eases Causation in Medical Malpractice Cases, Impacting Those Filed in Maryland and the Rest of the Nation

Anesthesiologists are vital to ensuring that surgery is safe. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to an anesthesiologist’s error, you could have a claim for medical malpractice against the anesthesiologist. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys will make every effort to get you the monetary damages you rightfully deserve.

A divided Florida Supreme Court recently ruled against an anesthesiologist in a medical malpractice claim that involved a female who lost her life while undergoing surgery for a tumor in her skull. In a 4-3 decision, the court overturned an earlier verdict for the anesthesiologist who performed a pre-anesthesia evaluation of the patient. According to the complaint filed by the patient’s husband, the anesthesiologist allegedly failed to order a second electrocardiogram after the first one highlighted irregular results and failed to report these irregular lab results to the surgeon. The Supreme Court rejected the lower court’s rationale that let the anesthesiologist off the hook because he was not the “primary cause” of the patient’s death. Rather, the Supreme Court noted that a doctor can be the proximate cause of a patient’s harm even if he or she is not the primary cause of that harm. While this is a Florida case, causation is an important element of all Maryland malpractice cases as well.

Anesthesiologist Errors Leading to Malpractice

According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, anesthesiologists are committed to the “relief of pain and total care of the surgical patient before, during and after surgery.” Part of an anesthesiologist’s job is to make sure patients undergoing surgery do not feel pain during the operation. This involves evaluating a patient before surgery to make sure the amount and type of anesthetic being administered is safe for the patient.

Anesthesiology errors can take many forms including, but not limited to:

  • Intubation errors;
  • Failure to monitor;
  • Communication errors;
  • Errors in anesthesia dosage;
  • Too little too much anesthesia.

If you have been injured by an anesthesiology error, you may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice is a complex area of law and establishing a case can be very challenging. To win a medical malpractice case in Maryland, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to prove the following elements: i) the anesthesiologist owed the patient a duty of care (i.e., the obligation to adhere to the level of care that a reasonably prudent anesthesiologist would have adhered to in the same or similar circumstances); ii) the anesthesiologist breached the duty of care owed to the patient; and iii) the anesthesiologist’s breach was a direct cause of the patient’s injury. In short, the doctor’s actions or inaction must have been the direct cause of the patient’s harm.

Seasoned Baltimore Anesthesiology Error Attorneys

Anesthesia errors can have disastrous consequences. If you feel that you or someone you know has been the victim of anesthesia malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Arfaa Law Group, our trusted Baltimore anesthesia malpractice attorneys will evaluate your case and help you understand your legal rights and options. We have extensive experience in this area of law and will make every effort to obtain a positive outcome in your case. Please contact us via telephone at 410-889-1850 or contact us online today.

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