When a patient goes into surgery, the expectation is that the surgical team knows what they’re doing and is prepared to keep that patient safe to the best of their ability. One of the first steps in any surgery is to put the patient under sedation.
General anesthesia results in a patient going into a deep sleep during the procedure. There are additional medications added to induce paralysis and steps taken to manage their vital signs. Unfortunately, some patients do not react well to anesthesia. Sometimes, they are allergic or they react poorly to a medication. Other times, too much or too little of the anesthetic mix is given to a patient, which may result in them waking up during a procedure or even feeling the entire thing.
What are the most common anesthesia errors?
The most common anesthesia errors include:
- Failing to identify adverse drug reactions
- Administering too much or too little anesthesia
- Not responding quickly to an anaphylactic or allergic response to anesthesia
- Failing to properly monitor a patient during anesthesia
- Dealing with defective medical equipment during anesthesia
The problems that can result from these errors are significant. For example, a defective piece of machinery may misread a patient’s oxygen level. This could lead to them being hypoxic for too long, which may cause a brain injury or organ damage.
Other possible issues may include anaphylaxis that leads to brain damage or death, an abnormal heart rhythm leading to cardiac arrest or full cardiovascular collapse.
Fatal outcomes are possible with anesthesia errors
Fatal outcomes can be a result of mistakes made by an anesthesiologist. Whether they are not paying attention to the patient’s vital signs, step out of the surgery without proper coverage, deliver too much of a medication or fail to check the patient’s allergies before an injection, their errors may be life-threatening or deadly.
If you or someone you love is injured due to anesthesia errors, it’s important for you to learn more about what happened and to look into filing a claim for medical malpractice and negligence. These errors should not be happening if a patient receives the right standard of care.