Michigan Anesthesia-Related Death Attorney

Anesthetic agents that induce a sleep-like state during surgery are powerful drugs. But the same characteristics that keep patients from experiencing the pain and trauma of invasive surgery can also make anesthesia particularly dangerous when administered incorrectly. Unfortunately, fatal anesthesia errors occur with alarming frequency, leaving shocked and devastated families wondering what went wrong and how such a tragedy could happen. 

When avoidable anesthesia mistakes by surgeons, anesthesiologists, or other operating room staff needlessly take the life of a patient, those left behind deserve answers, justice, and compensation for their losses. At Sommers Schwartz, our medical malpractice lawyers understand the devastation that follows a loved one’s loss because of an anesthesia error. With extensive experience, fierce advocacy, and a network of highly credentialed medical experts and other resources, we have recovered more than one billion dollars in compensation for our clients. 

Causes of Fatal Anesthesia Errors

Physicians and other medical professionals can make fatal anesthesia mistakes before, during, or after a procedure. Potential mistakes include failing to consider a patient’s medical history, which could reveal pre-existing conditions, vulnerabilities, or medications that can impact anesthetic decisions. Errors may occur in the administration and monitoring of anesthesia during surgery and afterward in the post-anesthesia recovery. 

According to a Columbia University study of anesthesia-related deaths in the United States:

  • Approximately 46 percent of those deaths were attributed to an overdose of an anesthetic;
  • Adverse effects of anesthesia were the cause of 42.5 percent of deaths; 
  • Complications of anesthesia during pregnancy, labor, and delivery accounted for 3.6 percent of deaths.

Other causes of fatal anesthesia errors include:

  • Delivering too little of one or more anesthetic drugs.
  • Delayed administration of anesthesia.
  • Incorrect placement of breathing tubes and IV lines.
  • Administering the wrong type of anesthesia. 
  • Failing to identify, monitor, or prevent adverse interactions with other drugs.
  • Failing to provide sufficient instructions before surgery, such as limiting food or liquid consumption.
  • Intubation mistakes.
  • Miscommunication between anesthesiologists, doctors, and nurses.
  • Failing to administer appropriate levels of oxygen during a procedure.
  • Using defective medical devices and equipment used for anesthetic administration.

Failing to account for a patient’s medical history, including failing to inquire about:

– When the last time food or beverages were consumed.

– Previous reactions to anesthesia.

– Known allergies.

– Current vitamins and supplements.

– All recent prescription medications.

– Alcohol and tobacco consumption.

If You Have Lost a Loved One Because of an Anesthesia Mistake, We Can Help

No amount of money can make up for the sudden, avoidable loss of a parent, spouse, child, or other loved one due to a medical mistake. But grieving families can and should hold accountable those whose negligence caused the death of a loved one.   

For more than 45 years, the medical malpractice attorneys at Sommers Schwartz have helped families get their lives back on track after a fatal medical error took the life of a loved one. Not only are our lawyers zealous and talented advocates, but we have the resources and work with exceptional medical experts who put our clients in the best position to obtain the maximum amount of compensation available for their losses.   

If you believe that an anesthesia error took the life of a family member, we welcome the opportunity to assist you during this difficult time. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Michigan anesthesia wrongful death lawyers, call 866-443-4145 or use our online form

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