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Hypoxia could result from an anesthesia error

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

Anesthesia errors are extremely dangerous, because if they are not corrected, they could lead to damage to the heart, brain, lungs, or other organs.

The problem with certain kinds of anesthesia errors is that it is easy to accidentally paralyze the patient’s ability to breathe or negatively impact their oxygen levels. Errors when a patient is at their most vulnerable could take someone going through a surgery from healthy to disabled in a matter of minutes.

How can anesthesiologists prevent hypoxia when a patient is under?

Anesthesiologists can help patients by making sure they are always getting enough oxygen and do not get too much of any one medication in their systems.

Anesthesiologists are trained to suspect hypoxia if the blood oxygen level drops to under 94%. At that time, they should be taking action to correct hypoxia before it gets to a dangerous level.

Some of the steps they can take to do so include:

  • Checking the probe to make sure the oxygen reading is correct.
  • Administering high-flow oxygen to boost blood oxygen levels.
  • Providing manual, hand ventilation with large tidal volumes.

Once an anesthesiologist does these things, they need to consider if there is an equipment problem or problem with the patient. If the problem lies with the patient, they need to check the patient’s airways, breathing and circulation. They also need to identify any drugs that could be leading to problems taking in enough oxygen.

For example, if a patient gets a laryngospasm, that needs to be treated to help open the airway. If they have an asthma attack while under anesthesia, bronchodilators may need to be used.

Anesthesiologists have to act quickly in these circumstances. If they make a mistake or don’t realize that the patient is in danger, the patient could be badly injured or killed.

If you’ve suffered an injury because of anesthesia errors, you deserve support

Anesthesia errors are unacceptable. While there are complications that can arise under even the best circumstances, anesthesiologists need to respond appropriately and make sure they care for their patients. Neglecting them or making errors could lead to injuries or death.