Medical Legal ConsultantsServing Attorneys Nationwide

Anesthesia Expert Witnesses

The insight you need for anesthesia malpractice and personal injury matters

Anesthesia is a medical term for the use of medication to prevent pain and control awareness during various medical procedures, including surgery. There are three main types of anesthesia:

  • Local anesthesia uses medicine to numb a small part of the body. This is most often used during minor surgery such as a skin or breast biopsy or during certain dental procedures.
  • Regional anesthesia blocks pain in a large area of the body, such as an entire limb or the entire lower half of the body. An “epidural” administered during childbirth is a well-known example of regional anesthesia.
  • General anesthesia is administered to make patients fully unconscious so they cannot feel, see, or hear anything. General anesthesia is typically used for major surgery.

Becoming an anesthesiologist requires a one-year internship and a three-year residency in anesthesia following the completion of medical school. Some anesthesiologists have additional training in a sub-specialty:

  • Cardiac anesthesia (heart)
  • Neuroanesthesia (brain and spinal cord)
  • Obstetric anesthesia (childbirth)
  • Pediatric anesthesia
  • Pain management
  • Critical care medicine (emergency surgery)

In the United States, anesthesiologists can be Board Certified through the American Board of Anesthesiology.

Anesthesia can also be administered by a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), which is an advanced practice nursing specialty regulated by the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology. CRNAs share many responsibilities with anesthesiologists, but how independently they are permitted to practice varies from state to state.

The role of an anesthesiologist in medical malpractice and personal injury matters

Because anesthesia is typically administered during invasive and risky procedures, significant harm can be done by anesthesia malpractice. Some examples include:

  • Failing to intubate the patient properly.
  • Administering a drug to which the patient has a known allergy.
  • Administering too much or too little anesthesia.
  • Failing to monitor the patient's vital signs during surgery.
  • Failing to take a proper medical history and recognize potential contraindications to anesthesia.
  • Miscommunication between the anesthesiologist and other members of the medical team.

A Board-Certified anesthesiologist expert witness can evaluate the actions taken by an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist and determine whether they met the accepted standards of care.

In addition, anesthesiologists with specialty training in pain management can be valuable expert witnesses in any injury case involving chronic pain. Our expert consultants can explain the long-term prognosis and the cost of treatment.

Find the anesthesiology expert witness you need

Our national network includes highly qualified, ABA-certified anesthesiologists committed to raising standards of care in the practice of medicine. If you are pursuing an anesthesia malpractice case or another matter that requires an anesthesiology expert witness, contact us today. Our experts are available for case reviews, consultation, and deposition and trial testimony.

Free Case Summary ReviewsClick Here