Common Anesthesia Errors

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Preoxygenation_before_anesthetic_inductionAnesthesia is necessary for most surgeries. Unfortunately, anesthesia errors occur and are a form of medical malpractice. By law, an error is considered to have occurred when a patient suffers unnecessary harm as a result of negligence or error. When an anesthesiologist makes an error, the consequences can range from mild to debilitating.

What is Anesthesia?

Anesthesia is a medically-induced state that causes a patient to be unable to feel pain. It causes a decreased stress response, amnesia, the loss of skeletal muscle reflexes and a loss of responsiveness. Administering anesthesia involves one or more drugs.

Types of anesthesia include:

  • Local anesthesia that numbs a specific part of the body
  • General anesthesia at which time a patient is rendered unconscious
  • Epidural or spinal anesthesia
  • Regional anesthesia
  • Dissociative anesthesia that causes a “trance-like” state

Anesthesia Errors

There are several forms of anesthesia error. Some may be caused by defective equipment or doctor negligence. The most common errors include:

  • Too much of one or more drugs
  • Too little of one or more drugs
  • Delayed delivery
  • Administration of the incorrect drug
  • Failure to prevent interactions
  • Failure to provide instructions to patients prior to anesthesia
  • Failure to administer oxygen during surgery
  • Failure of proper monitoring of the patient
  • Defective equipment or medical devices used during the administration of anesthesia

Effects of These Errors

There are a variety of effects of anesthesia error. These effects may be experienced on their own or in any combination. They include:

  • Confusion or dizziness
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Organ damage
  • Nerve, artery or vein damage
  • Inadequate supply of oxygen
  • Complications with blood pressure
  • Paralysis
  • Muscle contractions and fever
  • Awareness during surgery
  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

If you believe that you have suffered an injury as the result of an anesthesia error, you may have a case for medical malpractice. Call our office today and speak with a member of our team. We will review your case at no cost to you and advise you of your options. Call now or browse our website for more information about how we can assist you and your family.

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