My father had a heart attack while in surgery. The hospital says bad reactions to anesthesia are not uncommon, but he has had surgery before without problems. Could he have a malpractice claim?

If a doctor fails to obtain a thorough medical history, this can lead to serious problems. Anesthesia complications can also happen because a patient wasn’t properly evaluated before a procedure or carefully monitored during it. Some patients are allergic to certain types of anesthesia but do fine with others.

Once anesthesia is administered, failure to carefully monitor vital signs, including heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels, may prevent the opportunity to recognize an adverse reaction before it leads to serious consequences such as a heart attack or stroke.