Every year, nearly 40 million procedures involving anesthesia are performed in the United States. While most individuals are aware that many risks, both avoidable and unavoidable, are associated with medical procedures, many people might not factor in the dangers of anesthesia. Administering anesthesia is, of course, one of modern medicine’s greatest achievements. Unfortunately, it still carries many risks that can potentially cause severe damage or death to a patient when it is improperly used.
Below are the most common mistakes associated with anesthesia:
Lapses in Protocol
Anesthesiologists are required to follow an intricate and complex routine every time a patient undergoes the sedation process. Part of their role includes administering not only the proper drug, but the correct dosage. Given the delicate nature of this, a patient should be monitored from the moment they are admitted into the hospital. This begins with an interview conducted by the anesthesiologist with the patient to confirm that they are aware of the known risk factors associated with anesthesia.
If proper protocol is neglected, mistakes can happen, which include:
- The anesthesiologist might overlook risk factors when deciding which medicine to use
- The patient might receive too high a dose of medicine during the procedure, resulting in coma, brain injury, paralysis, or death
- The patient might receive too little medication, which could cause “anesthesia awareness,” which is the sensation of being conscious during a procedure without the ability to convey it to those in the operating room
Improper Training or Human Error
It is also possible for steps to be followed faithfully and correctly, but to still make detrimental mistakes along the way. If an anesthesiologist lacks practical skills or proper training in the use of sophisticated equipment, this can lead to some serious mistakes. Additionally, an anesthesiologist who is properly trained can still make mistakes if they are fatigued or experiencing other personal issues that could impact his or her level of focus and concentration.
Human error or lack of training frequently lead to the following mistakes:
- Confusing one medicine for another and administering it to a patient
- Failing to maintain a clear airway during a medical procedure or harming the patient during intubation
- Failing to timely and quickly intubate a patient
- Misreading a patient’s vital signs while monitoring them during a procedure
- Incorrectly operating monitoring equipment, resulting in a false reading
- Failing to calculate the correct dosage of medicine
- Being inattentive during the initial patient interview or being careless during the procedure
- Failing to communicate important information to a surgeon operating on the patient
Whether an anesthesia error was caused by a lapse in protocol, human error, or improper training, you could have a viable medical malpractice case for which you may be eligible to receive fair and just compensation. You may especially need this compensation if you’re facing additional medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering as a result of your worsened health condition.
Helping Patients During a Painful Time
If you sustained injuries or were harmed as a result of an anesthesia error, you have a right to pursue justice and hold the medical professional accountable for his or her negligent actions. At the Law Offices of David C. Rash, our team has over two decades of experience in fighting on behalf of the rights of the injured. Reach out to our knowledgeable team for the legal advocacy you deserve to guide you through this process and ensure you receive compensation. We’re not daunted by the possibility of going up against medical professionals and institutions to hold them responsible for their harmful actions.
Have you been injured as a result of an anesthesia error? You deserve justice. Call our attorneys today for a free consultation at (954) 914-7116, or contact us online. We’ve recovered millions in settlements for clients injured by medical malpractice.