New York residents may be aware that the amount of damages associated with medical malpractice cases involving anesthesiologists can sometimes be significant. When anesthesia is not administered correctly, patients can be left in the nightmare situation of being aware and able to feel pain yet not capable of moving or alerting operating room staff of their situation. Researchers with the National Practitioner Data Bank studied malpractice lawsuits involving anesthesiologists between 2005 and 2013, and they found that the compensation paid in these cases fell significantly during this period.
In 2005, the amount of compensation paid in these cases was over $174 million, but this figure had fallen to $91 million by 2013. Researchers believe that a sharp increase in the number of surgeries involving outpatient anesthesiologist services led to this fall. While patients who had outpatient surgery filed malpractice lawsuits more frequently than those who underwent inpatient procedures, the amount of compensation associated with outpatient claims was far lower according to the researchers.
Some experts believe that the reduction in the amount of malpractice claims paid by anesthesiologists may reflect a change in the type of procedures being performed on an outpatient basis. They say that pressures to manage costs may have led clinics to offer procedures to outpatients that would once only have been performed on inpatients. The findings were presented to the American Society of Anesthesiologists at its 2015 annual meeting.
Medical malpractice claims involving anesthesiologists can be highly complex, and attorneys with experience in this area may call upon medical experts of their own when the defendants involved are reluctant to accept that they made mistakes. The suffering of the victims of anesthesiologist errors can be great, and they may seek compensation for both their physical and psychological injuries.