Anaesthetic Negligence Compensation Claims Guide

Anaesthesia can play an essential role in medical treatment. It is a medicine that can be used to temporarily numb an area of your body or temporarily put you in a state of controlled unconsciousness so that procedures can be performed safely and with no pain. Due to the potential risks of anaesthesia, trained anaesthetists should take great care when administering this drug. However, if anaesthesia is incorrectly given, it could lead to serious consequences and even death

This guide tells you how to claim for anaesthetic negligence. We look at important steps of the medical negligence claims process and how compensation for these types of claims are calculated. 

We also look at what anaesthetic negligence is and when someone could be eligible to claim compensation. 

The end of this guide discusses how No Win No Fee agreements work and how our expert medical negligence solicitors could help you potentially claim compensation on this basis.

Our friendly team can give you a free consultation and see whether you could be connected with a solicitor. We are available 24/7:

  • Call 0800 073 8801
  • Enquire about your potential claim on our ‘start a claim’ page.
  • Send a message in our live support box. 

Surgeons around an operation table holding medical equipment and tools.

Jump To A Section

  1. What Is Anaesthetic Negligence?
  2. How To Claim For Anaesthetic Negligence
  3. What Could You Claim For Anaesthetic Negligence?
  4. Could You Claim With A No Win No Fee Clinical Negligence Solicitor?
  5. Where Can You Find Out More About Medical Negligence Claims?

What Is Anaesthetic Negligence?

All medical professionals owe a duty of care to the patients they treat. This means they must, at all times, deliver care that meets the professional standards that are expected of them. If they deliver substandard care, this is a breach of their duty. 

Medical negligence is when a patient suffers harm that should have been avoided (avoidable harm) due to a medical professional breaching their duty of care. 

As such, here are the criteria that must be met to have an eligible anaesthetic negligence claim:

  1. An anaesthetist/doctor/healthcare provider owed you a duty of care. 
  2. This duty of care was breached. For example, the anaesthetist administered too much anaesthetic. 
  3. As a result of this breach, you suffered avoidable harm that you otherwise wouldn’t have suffered if you were provided with the correct standard of care.

By contacting us today, our team can confirm your compensation claim eligibility in a free consultation. 

Types Of Anaesthesia

There are two main different types of anaesthesia:

  • Local anaesthetic – used primarily in more minor procedures. Where an area of your body is numb but you are awake. 
  • General anaesthetic – used in more serious, lengthy, and complicated procedures. Where you are put to sleep in a state of controlled unconsciousness.

Additionally, here are some ways how anaesthetic negligence could occur:

  • When measuring out the anaesthetic dosage, the anaesthetist makes a medication error. This leads to too much anaesthetic being given and an accidental overdose. From this, the patient goes into a coma and suffers brain damage. 
  • During a preoperative assessment at the hospital, the anaesthetist does not ask the patient about their medical history. Because they didn’t discuss this, they miss that the patient is allergic to the medication. Therefore, the patient suffers an allergic reaction that leads to anaphylaxis during the operation.
  • An anaesthetist incorrectly applies an epidural during childbirth. From this, the mother suffers permanent nerve damage and partial paralysis

Anaesthetic negligence could occur in more ways than the above. So, please have a chat with us today about your specific circumstances. 

Anaesthetic Awareness

Anaesthetic awareness is when a patient becomes conscious when they’re not supposed to be whilst having general anaesthetic. It can even happen in the middle of a procedure. 

Here are some possible ways how anaesthetic awareness could happen due to negligence:

  • A medication error occurs because the anaesthetist does not use enough anaesthetic. 
  • The equipment used to deliver anaesthetic malfunctions. The maintenance of all medical equipment should be checked before use. 
  • Failure to check the patient’s medical history means that the patient having an increased resistance to general anaesthetic was missed. Due to the patient being more resistant than others, the patient becomes aware mid-surgery. 

How To Claim For Anaesthetic Negligence

The first step of making an anaesthetic negligence claim is to confirm your claim eligibility. If your claim is eligible, you can choose to connect with a solicitor to help you through the medical negligence claims process. 

An important step in claiming compensation for anaesthetic negligence is gathering evidence. If you are connected with one of our specialist solicitors, they will be able to do this for you. They will also ensure that your claim is started within the claims time limit and send off any legal correspondence and important documents on your behalf to the relevant parties. 

As such, here are some types of evidence that should be gathered in order to have the best chance of making a successful claim:

  • Your medical records.
  • A personal symptoms diary. 
  • Letters that confirmed any medical procedures you had with a medical professional that administered anaesthesia incorrectly. 
  • A report from an independent medical assessment. 
  • Documents that show your financial losses as a result of anaesthetic negligence – this is explained in more detail in the next section of this guide. 
  • Witness contact details so statements can be taken later if anyone saw the effects of the negligent treatment. 

For more guidance on what’s involved in the medical negligence claims process, please get in touch with us.

What Could You Claim For Anaesthetic Negligence?

If your anaesthetic negligence claim is successful, you can claim compensation for two different types of damages. 

The first, general damages, accounts for the psychiatric and physical damage you have suffered due to anaesthetic negligence. These factors are considered:

  • The extent of the pain and treatment required. 
  • Loss of amenity. 
  • If recovery is an option, how long the estimated recovery period is. 
  • The severity of your symptoms. 

As previously mentioned, you may need an independent medical assessment to evaluate how you have been harmed due to anaesthetic negligence. The report from this can be compared to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to calculate your general damages value. 

The JCG is a publication that has guideline compensation brackets for a variety of psychiatric and physical injuries and illnesses. 

Compensation Table 

We have taken some injuries and illnesses from the JCG which may be suffered following anaesthetic negligence. As you can see, we have also taken the JC’s guideline compensation brackets for each. 

We must note that this table can only be used as guidance and not as a guarantee for what could be awarded if your anaesthetic negligence claim is successful. This is because all claims are entirely unique. 

InjurySeverityGuideline compensation bracketsNotes
Multiple serious injuries or illnesses with special damagesSeriousUp to and above £1,000,000+Compensation for suffering multiple serious injuries or illnesses with their financial impacts such as professional care costs and medicine bills.
ParalysisTetraplegia£396,140 to £493,000Upper and lower body paralysis.
Paraplegia£267,340 to £346,890Lower body paralysis.
Brain damageVery severe (a)£344,150 to £493,000Included within this bracket is cases of 'locked-in' syndrome along with a severely reduced life expectancy.
Moderately severe (b)£267,340 to £344,150The person will be very seriously disabled and will need constant professional care.
Less severe (d)£18,700 to £52,550Once the person has recovered they will return to a normal work and social life. However, their memory and concentration will be affected.
BackSevere (a) (i)£111,150 to £196,450Severe damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots that leads to severe pain and disability such as incomplete paralysis.
Severe (a) (ii)£90,510 to £107,910Nerve root damage with associated loss of sensation and impaired mobility.

The top line figure is not featured as part of the JCG.

Financial Losses Compensation

The second, special damages, accounts for the financial losses that have occurred/are occurring due to negligence. Here are some examples:

  • Loss of earnings for needing time off work to recover. 
  • Professional care costs. 
  • Treatment costs, such as paying for prescriptions. 

While general damages are guaranteed to be awarded when a medical negligence claim is successful, special damages are not. For this reason, it’s important to keep a record of what you have financially lost through documents such as receipts, bank statements, payslips, and invoices. 

Just call us on the above number to find out more about how much compensation could possibly be awarded in successful anaesthetic negligence claims. 

A medical professional inserting a needle with local anaesthetic into someone's knee.

Could You Claim With A No Win No Fee Clinical Negligence Solicitor?

If you have an eligible anaesthetic negligence claim, then yes, you could claim compensation with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors. They are medical negligence experts who will likely offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

Here are some reasons why you would benefit from a CFA:

  • For your solicitor’s work, there are no upfront costs.
  • For your solicitor’s work, there are no ongoing costs. 
  • If you have an unsuccessful claim, there are no costs at all for your solicitor’s work. 
  • If you have a successful claim, you will still pay no costs directly out of your pocket. Instead, a success fee can be deducted by your solicitor. Success fees are a percentage of your compensation. What’s more, the maximum percentage that can be deducted is capped by law to ensure that you receive the largest half of your award.

Why Choose Accident Claims UK? 

You could choose Accident Claims to help you through the medical negligence claims process because our solicitors are some of the best legal experts. They can guide you through each step and give you support and legal advice. So, to see whether you can be connected with a solicitor, please have a chat with our team today:

An aesthetic negligence solicitor sat on a desk with a gavel and set of justice scales in front of him.

Where Can You Find Out More About Medical Negligence Claims?

You can find more of our other guides on medical negligence compensation claims here:

You can also find here some extra pages which might provide you with useful information:

  • Royal College of Anaesthetics (RCoA) – an insight into an anaesthetist’s duty of care.
  • NHS – how to complain to the NHS about a medical professional.
  • Gov.UK – find out how to claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for needing time off work to recover from your harm.

We hope that after reading this guide, you know how to claim for anaesthetic negligence. Please remember that our contact services are live 24/7 so you can ask us any questions at any time.