What is an anaesthesia expert witness?
Anaesthesia experts, or anaesthetists, are specialist doctors responsible for providing anaesthesia and pain management to patients before, during and after operations and surgical procedures. They are highly skilled and form the largest hospital speciality in the NHS. Anaesthetists are often responsible for resuscitating and stabilising patients in A&E and are specialists in maintaining the airway, including after significant trauma. Anaesthetists also care for patients in intensive care units, managing very challenging life-threatening medical conditions.
They provide care for patients in chronic pain clinics, provide anaesthesia in psychiatric units for patients receiving electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), as well as the provision of sedation and anaesthesia for patients undergoing interventional radiology and radiotherapy. Anaesthetists also often manage pain relief in labour including epidurals and spinal nerve blocks, and manage the safety of obstetric patients during caesarean sections.
How specialist is an anaesthetic expert?
All anaesthetists complete at least five years of training at medical school and then two years of foundation training as a junior doctor. There are then two options for postgraduate training. One is the direct route through core training, which takes a total of seven years. The other is an eight-year anaesthesia programme, which includes two years of the acute care common stem (ACCS) programme. The ACCS programme covers the specialities of anaesthesia, acute medicine (general internal), emergency medicine, and intensive care medicine.
Anaesthetists may choose to further sub-specialise in the following areas:
- Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiac Anaesthesia
- Obstetric Anaesthesia
- Paediatric Anaesthesia
- Pain Medicine
Why might you need to instruct an anaesthesia expert witness?
Anaesthesia expert witnesses may be instructed for an expert opinion in any case involving a client having received anaesthesia and in a wide array of other situations. This most commonly includes issues of pain, such as chronic pain, the management of acute or chronic pain following trauma, problems following administration of nerve blocks for pain and obstetric complications.
Anaesthetic practice, like any other speciality of medicine, may lead to adverse outcomes, particularly if the required standard of care is not met. Clinical negligence in anaesthesia can have serious and long-lasting implications. This can include a patient receiving the incorrect drug or dosage of drug during anaesthesia, vital signs not being adequately monitored during an anaesthetic and negligence in post-operative care and pain management. The consequences of negligent practice during the time a patient is under general anaesthetic can include brain hypoxia leading to long-term disability and death.
An anaesthesia expert may also be instructed to comment on the psychological damage caused by improper delivery of anaesthetic, long-term chronic pain, or post-admission to an intensive care unit.
Other incidences where an anaesthesia expert may be instructed include:
- Complex chronic pain including back pain
- Radiculopathy pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Pain following accidents in the workplace
- Pain following road traffic collisions
- Injuries sustained during airway management
- Tracheostomy complications
- Obstetric complications including epidural
- Artificial feeding
- Advanced directives
- Complications following electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
- Brain injury
What experts do Expert Court Reports have?
We have three highly experienced and well-respected anaesthesia expert witnesses on our panel, Dr Maissara Al-Rikabi, Dr David Hewson and Dr Jonathan Rajan.
Dr Maissara Al-Rikabi is an experienced consultant in pain medicine and anaesthesia at Kings College Hospital. he has 22 years of experience, including international experience in complex chronic pain cases. He has a special interest in radiofrequency denervation interventional procedures for chronic pain, neuromodulation including spinal and peripheral nerve stimulation, and Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy for chronic pain and aesthetic medicine. He provides expert evidence in civil proceedings for defendants, claimants, and the Court.
Dr David Hewson is a Consultant Anaesthetist at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, and Associate Professor of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine at the University of Nottingham. He has training and experience in all anaesthetic subspecialties but has major clinical interests in regional anaesthesia, trauma, neuroanaesthesia, airway management and risk assessment. Dr Hewson completed the Bond Solon civil procedure certificate in 2021 and was awarded the Cardiff University Expert Witness Certificate in 2022.
Dr Jonathan Rajan’s consultant practice involves conducting a range of interdisciplinary pain medicine clinics with interventional practice including radiofrequency, coeliac plexus blocks, nerve root blocks and epidurals. He regularly leads specialist clinics in complex regional pain syndrome, musculoskeletal pain and fibromyalgia. Dr Rajan leads the service in terms of metabolic medicine patients with chronic pain (one of only two such national centres). He has undertaken the Bond Solon Excellence in report writing course.
Why use Expert Court Reports?
A good anaesthesia expert witness should come with years of clinical experience as well as specific competencies to act as an expert witness. Look for someone who has established expert witness experience. Our anaesthesia experts have many years of clinical practice and established experience of acting as expert witnesses.
How quickly can you provide a report?
At Expert Court Reports Ltd, we understand the pressures of the legal profession. We recognise that litigation is subject to defined timescales and for this reason, we will be as flexible and accommodating as we are able to be. However, we pride ourselves on not promising work that cannot be reliably delivered within a given timescale. The quality of the evidence which is provided by our experts is subject to review and scrutiny. All expert reports are subject to a detailed and robust proofreading process to ensure that our expert evidence is accurate and expertly formatted.
Instructing an expert witness
If you would like to find out more about how our anaesthesia expert witness could assist you, please call us on 01865 587865, email email@example.com, or request a quote by completing our online form.