Anesthesiology Expert Witness

Anesthesiologist intubating a patient in the operating roomAn Anesthesiology expert witness is an Anesthesiologist who testifies about the standard of care for anesthesia administration during surgical procedures.  Anesthesiology is a field of medicine that provides anesthesia (pain control and sedation) to patients undergoing surgical procedures. The training of an anesthesiologist is complex, typically lasting four years or longer. Anesthesiologists first complete a general medical internship followed by a three-year residency in anesthesiology. After that, many subspecialize in areas such as Pain Management, Pediatric Anesthesiology, Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology, Obstetric Anesthesiology, or Critical Care Medicine.

General anesthesia is a term used to describe a type of anesthesia where a patient is fully unconscious for the duration of a surgical procedure. When anesthesiology physicians provide general anesthesia, a patient must also have airway protection via intubation or a laryngeal mask airway. Conscious sedation or deep sedation is a type of anesthesia utilized during brief procedures. Although patients undergoing sedative anesthesia require airway monitoring, they typically do not require aggressive airway management. For obstetrical, abdominal and thoracic procedures, anesthesiology physicians may place epidural (“spinal”) catheters to provide pain control. Anesthesiologists with fellowship training in Pain Management are certified to treat chronic pain. Approaches to the treatment of chronic pain include narcotics, injections, nerve ablations, and/or the implantation of specialized devices such as electronic stimulators and pain pumps. In modern healthcare, anesthesiologists may oversee Nurse Anesthetists, specially trained nurses who facilitate the delivery of anesthesia. The inherent diversity of practice means that the Anesthesiology expert witness must be perfectly aligned with the elements of the case.

Medical malpractice litigation against anesthesiologists commonly arises from procedural complications such as failure to control an airway during intubation or damage to adjacent structures during the placement of an epidural catheter. Since anesthesiologists are primarily responsible for patient positioning during anesthesia, anesthesiologists may be held liable for injuries related to surgical positioning. Common injuries include compartment syndrome or damage to the sciatic nerve or brachial plexus. A growing area of medical malpractice litigation deals with improper supervision of Nurse Anesthetists, though statutory mandates vary on a state by state basis. Given the complexity of the Anesthesiology issues, a top Anesthesiology expert witness is a key requirement for any medical malpractice case during anesthesia.

Anesthesiology Case Matter

From outpatient procedures to the most complex anesthesia cases in the world, Elite Medical Experts reviews all aspects of anesthesiology-related malpractice litigation including:

  • Barbiturate anesthetic agents (e.g. Brevital, pentothal)
  • Benzodiazepine anesthetic agents (e.g. Versed)
  • Cardiothoracic anesthesia
  • Chronic pain management
  • Conscious sedation
  • Critical care anesthesia
  • CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) issues
  • Difficult airway management
  • Epidural (“spinal”) anesthesia
  • General anesthesia
  • Inhaled anesthetics (e.g. Desflurane, isoflurane, halothane)
  • Intubation (direct laryngoscopy, fiberoptic laryngoscopy)
  • Local anesthesia (e.g. Lidocaine, bupivacaine)
  • Long-acting narcotics (e.g. Oxy-Contin, MS-Contin)
  • Neurosurgical anesthesia
  • Nurse anesthetist (“CRNA”) supervision
  • Obstetric anesthesia
  • Opiate agents (e.g. Dilaudid, Fentanyl, morphine)
  • Patient positioning with complications (e.g. brachial plexopathy,
  • sciatic neuropathy)
  • Pediatric anesthesia
  • Perioperative management
  • Regional anesthesia (nerve blocks, limb blocks)

When your case demands competent answers, you need an experienced Board-Certified anesthesiology expert witness from a leading academic medical center. To secure an Anesthesiology expert witness who is ready to work with you on your malpractice case, please contact Elite Medical Experts and speak with a physician or nurse on Elite’s experienced Case Strategy Team today.

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Author Profile

Dr. Burton Bentley II, the CEO of Elite Medical Experts, is a nationally renowned authority on medical liability, informed consent, and complex issues at the intersections of medicine, law, and business. As a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician and entrepreneur, Dr. Bentley founded Elite Medical Experts in 2010 while overseeing nearly a decade of year-over-year growth. Dr. Bentley also developed and patented a commercial medical device and co-founded Consent Spectrum, a state-of-the-art digital platform for informed consent in aesthetic medical procedures.  Outside of Elite, Dr. Bentley can be found spending time with his family and riding horses in Tucson’s riverbeds and deserts.

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