From 2004 through 2006, patient safety errors resulted in 238,337 potentially preventable deaths of U.S. Medicare patients and cost the Medicare program $8.8 billion, according to the fifth annual Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study.
Many catastrophic injuries - including death - occur as a result of surgical mistakes. While it is certainly true that some injuries during surgery are unavoidable and accepted as a risk of the procedure, often these injuries are avoidable and can entitle the injured person or his or her family to compensation. Oftentimes, organs or vessels are cut or burned and the problem is not diagnosed and repaired in a timely manner. Improper treatment of post-operative complications are also the source of many claims.
The anesthesiologist is responsible for the health of the patient during an operation. This care not only includes proper administration of anesthesia, but also close monitoring of the patient’s breathing and other health concerns while under the effects of anesthesia.
Maintaining proper oxygenation of the patient is critical. Very serious injury - including death or brain injury - can occur if the anesthesiologist does not do his or her job properly.