Anesthesia is an important part of the surgery process. It helps the patient be in an unconscious or semi-conscious state during the operation, resulting into inability to feel pain and loss of general responsiveness. It also helps in managing the patient’s vital signs and oxygenation.
For these reasons, anesthesia can be very dangerous when an error has occurred. It can cause serious injury to the patient, or worse, even death. According to an informative article from the website of a West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer, anesthesia errors are a form of medical malpractice, and those who are responsible may be held liable.
Common anesthesia errors
Medical malpractice can occur in many ways, but most of the time, it occurs because of the negligence of the medical party. Maybe they did not exercise reasonable care, did not have the level of skill that a reasonable professional should have, or did something that’s just totally wrong.
Below are the common errors involving anesthesia.
- Administering anesthetics to a patient with allergies
- Administering the wrong anesthesia
- Failing to give proper instructions to the patient prior to the operation, such as eating and drinking restrictions
- Failing to deliver anesthesia on time
- Failing to monitor the patient’s oxygen level and vital signs
- Giving too much or too little anesthesia
- Improperly intubating the patient
Effects of anesthesia errors
Most of the time, patients and their families don’t really know the importance of anesthesiologists in surgery. They are just automatically putting their trusts in all of the medical professionals involved in the process. But they should at least be knowledgeable of the possible consequences of errors.
Here are the common complications and injuries that can result from an error involving anesthesia.
- Allergic reactions
- Anesthesia awareness
- Brain damages due to lack of oxygen
- Blood pressure issues
- Coma and death
- Confusion, dizziness, and nausea
- Heart problems
- Post-operation pain
- Respiratory problems
- Spinal cord injuries
- Tooth damage due to improper intubation
Aside from these physical injuries, anesthesia errors can also cause emotional and psychological damages like flashbacks, sleep disorders, post traumatic stress disorders, and phobia to doctors and medical facilities.