When you have to have surgery and will go under general anesthesia, you’re at your most vulnerable. As a patient, you’ll be completely unconscious and have no ability to speak with others about discomfort or trouble with breathing or other functions.
Anesthesiologists are well-trained in handling patient care, but they are still human and can make mistakes. Unfortunately, if they don’t recognize an allergy or don’t notice that the patient is not recovering correctly, then the patient could suffer serious complications, injuries or death.
What are the most common causes of anesthesia errors?
There are many common causes of anesthesia errors including:
- Dosing errors
- Wrong medications
- Incorrect administration route
- Allergic complications that the anesthesiologist should have known about
These and other causes of accidents and injuries under anesthesia have to be taken seriously, because a patient’s life is on the line. While some mistakes can be corrected, not all of them can.
What are some common injuries caused by anesthesia errors?
One of the most common issues caused by anesthesia errors is hypoxia. This is when the body is not receiving enough oxygen and tissues and cells begin to die. A short amount of time without oxygen is usually not damaging, but if the anesthesiologist doesn’t correct the imbalance of gasses or a negative reaction to the medications, then the patient could suffer from organ damage, brain injuries or even death as a result of this problem.
As a patient, you can take steps to help your anesthesiologist, like providing a list of your current medications, giving an accurate weight and being clear about your allergies.
If the anesthesiologist still makes an error that causes you harm, then it is your right, or the right of your surviving family members, to look into making a medical malpractice claim. If the injuries or death were caused by errors that the anesthesiologist made, then it is possible that a medical malpractice claim could be won. Every case is different, so it’s valuable to look at yours in detail with someone who is familiar with medical malpractice law and who can assist with your claim.