People who are about to undergo surgery often worry about whether or not the doctor will make a mistake, but few stop to consider the possibility of an anesthesia error. Whether it’s an anesthesiologist’s mistake or a reaction to the meds, both can be very serious, even deadly.
An anaesthetist`s mistake can happen in any number of ways, according to Resource4SurgicalAccidents.com, but there are some that tend to occur more often. If an anesthetist miscalculates a patient’s weight or height it can lead to serious problems. Also, a failure to get a comprehensive medical history, including how a patient has reacted to any anesthesia received in the past, prior to surgery can result in an anesthesia error. Other times, it is not the information gathered that is incorrect, but that the data is misread. Of course, it is not always death that is the result of such mistakes. There are a wide range of other serious injuries and complications that may occur including brain damage, paralysis, coma, birth injuries, stroke and many others.
It is also important to note the types of errors that can occur. Webmd.com provides quite a comprehensive and terrifying list of possible complications. Obviously miscalculations in a patient`s body size can lead to him receiving either too much or too little anesthesia. A failure to compile accurate medical background can result in hazardous interactions with other medications the patient may cause a risky allergic reaction. If proper instructions are not given to the patient prior to anesthesia, such as being sure not to eat or drink, complications can result. A patient can be given the wrong type of anesthesia due to improper labelling of products. When regional anesthetic is given, nerves can be damaged and can cause temporary or permanent problems. When a woman in labor is given spinal anesthetic, there is a risk of damage to the spinal cord that can result in paralysis among other things, according to nurse, Yvonne Cryns. Failure to properly monitor a patient during a procedure, especially when the patient is under general anaesthesia, can have devastating consequences often because of patients’ inability to breathe on their own. Even local anaesthetic, generally considered quite safe because it is contained to a small area, carries a level of risk if a patient is given too high a dose.
The majority of patients who receive anesthesia will fair just fine. However there are situations where mistakes are made and injuries or even deaths do occur. If you or a loved one has been harmed by an anesthesia error, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced Dallas medical malpractice attorney.