Complications from general anaesthesia are fortunately rare nowadays, but if and when they do occur, they can be catastrophic, resulting in brain damage or death. Anaesthetists are also often involved with the management of patients on intensive care units and with running outpatient pain clinics.
The care that is received on the intensive care unit is not beyond reproach and as in all walks of life, sometimes simple mistakes do happen. Patients may be left unnecessarily injured, or die, as a result of substandard management. Compensation may be recovered if negligence can be proved. However, it is important to always bear in mind that patients are on an intensive care ward because they are usually critically ill, and, because of the severity of the underlying problems, the outcome may have been the same irrespective of whether the care had been adequate or not. For this reason these cases may not be straightforward.