Anaesthetics is the medical field of expertise in where the focus is on relieving the pain and discomfort experienced by a patient during a medical procedure. The patient is given anaesthesia which makes the patient completely unconscious and makes them unable to feel any pain during medical procedures.

Extreme care and planning is needed when providing the patient anaesthesia, otherwise there are risks of serious medical complications including stroke and heart attack.

The patient must be consulted before the procedure to provide them with a thorough understanding of the complete anaesthesia process.

In case, a patient is not properly informed, a lawsuit can emerge from physical or emotional stress.

Anaesthesia allows the painless occurrence of medical procedures that would otherwise be severely and intolerable painful for the patient.

There are three broad categories of anaesthesia that are given to the patients before a painful medical procedure:

  • General anaesthesia – suppresses the central nervous system which results in total unconsciousness
  • Sedation – suppresses the central nervous system to a lesser degree without resulting in unconsciousness and hence, resulting in long term memories of pain
  • Regional anaesthesia and local anaesthesia – blocks off the targeted part of the body from the central nervous system causing a loss of sensation in that body part

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There are both minor and major risks of anaesthesia. Major risks may include heart attack, stroke or even death, whereas minor risks can include nausea and vomiting.

Expert witnesses in the field of anaesthesia are often called upon to testify regarding cases involving anaesthetic procedures, complications, dosages and patient responses.

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The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:

  • The need for a view or inspection of a location
  • The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
  • Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
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Relevant Cases Sparks v Hobson; Gray v Hobson [2018] NSWCA 29 (1 March 2018)

Whether head surgeon and principal anaesthetist negligent in failing to terminate operation earlier than occurred – roles and responsibilities of head surgeon and principal anaesthetist

McKenna v Hunter & New England Local Health District; Simon v Hunter & New England Local Health District [2013] NSWCA 476 (23 December 2013)

Negligence - whether conduct of Hospital psychiatrist conformed with a widely accepted 'practice' for the purposes of s 5O Civil Liability Act

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Profiles of Experts in Medical - Anaesthetics

Below are short profiles of a few experts with expertise in this field.

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