Claim for an Anaesthesia Error during an Operation

What is the likely value of a compensation claim for an anaesthesia error during an operation?

There are numerous types of mistakes made with anaesthesia every year and therefore, without knowing the nature of the mistake that was made or the injury you sustained as a result, it is impossible to place a financial value on a compensation claim for an anaesthesia error during an operation.

Indeed many anaesthesia errors do not result in an injury – either physical or psychological – and, despite the indisputable fact that medical negligence has occurred, if there has been no ‘adverse effect’ as a result, it will not be possible to make claims for an error by an anaesthetist.

Therefore, if you believe that you or a loved one have suffered an adverse effect due to the negligence of an anaesthetist, your first course of action should be to speak with a solicitor and explain why you believe you may be entitled to compensation for an error with anaesthesia.

In many claims for an error by an anaesthetist, the anaesthetist is not actually the person who is liable for the mistake being made. Liability for your injuries could be shared between the whole medical team for failing to adequately plan your treatment or even due to an administrative error prior to your procedure taking place.

Therefore, once you have discussed the nature of your injury due to an anaesthesia error, if your solicitor believes that you have a claim for an anaesthesia error during an operation which is worth your while to pursue, he or she will engage the services on an independent medical specialist to review the notes of your treatment, ascertain where in the chain of events an error occurred and determine whether ‘in the circumstances and at the time’ the mistake was avoidable and attributable to a poor professional performance.

If there is enough evidence of negligence, and you have sustained a physical or emotional trauma due to that negligence, your solicitor will send a ‘Letter of Claim’ to the hospital or private medical facility at which you underwent the procedure to advise them that you are making claims for an error by an anaesthetist and supporting the letter with the evidence of negligence compiled by the independent medical expert.

Once liability is acknowledged for your injuries, only then will your solicitor calculate the value of your compensation claim for an anaesthetic error during an operation, based on the level of injury you have sustained, any ongoing effects you are suffering because of the anaesthesia mistake and the financial cost of your injury.

It is important to note that how much compensation for an error with anaesthesia you are entitled to recover is relative to the level of the injury you have suffered – rather than the nature of the error which caused it – and therefore an individual assessment of your claim for an anaesthesia error during an operation will be required before you can be given any preliminary indication of your right to claim or how much the value of your claim may be.



This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.