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Anesthesia errors: a common source of wrongful death suits

The actions that give rise to medical malpractice complaints may lead to serious injuries as well as fatalities. The negligent administration of anesthesia before and during a medical procedure is one reason why there are a large number of wrongful death suits against hospitals and other medical institutions, including those in Louisiana.

A lot of research has been conducted by various medical organizations in order to better understand the reason behind fatal anesthesia errors. This is because the medical community believes that having a better understanding of these hazards can be the key to solving the problem.

Research has found that the number of anesthesia fatality risks varied for every hospital based on the patient's health records, provider of the procedure and anesthesia administrators. Anesthesia errors are nothing new. In fact an early report on mortality rates due to anesthesia, based on research done 60 years ago, found that the death rate then was more than twice for the treatment of polio.

The numbers of fatalities reported due to anesthesia errors have decreased in recent years for various reasons. Different measures taken by hospital authorities to improve anesthesia administration have helped decrease the number of deaths from faulty administration of anesthesia. The constant monitoring of anesthesia administration by state authorities helped create accountability on the part of hospital administrations.

Surgical patients are very vulnerable to anesthesia errors. If there is a negligent administration of anesthesia by a medical practitioner, it can potentially lead to a patient's death. Families and dependents of a victim of such a medical malpractice may wish to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit with the help of legal professionals.

Source: NIH Public Access, "Epidemiology of anesthesia related mortality in the United States, 1999-2005," accessed on Dec. 17, 2014

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