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The Most Common Anesthesia Errors


When we seek medical care, we place a lot of trust in doctors and other medical professionals to provide that care with the best possible skill. This is true whether a person is being prescribed medication, undergoing physical therapy, or going into surgery. Unfortunately, medical providers don’t always live up to this responsibility, putting patients at serious risk of injury.

What Role Does Anesthesia Play in Medicine? 

Anesthesia is a type of medical intervention that is achieved using drugs known as anesthetics. These procedures fulfill a number of different functions, including:

  • Preventing discomfort and pain during diagnostic testing or treatment;
  • Allowing the body to remain in one position for extended periods of time; and
  • Controlling the body’s responses to stress or trauma by stabilizing the heart rate and blood pressure.

Anesthesia falls under one of four different categories:

  • Local anesthesia, which blocks pain to one small part of the body while the patient remains awake;
  • Regional anesthesia, which also blocks pain to only one part of the body;
  • Monitored sedation, which relaxes the body and induces sleep, but allows the patient to remain conscious; and
  • General anesthesia, which affects the whole body and makes a patient unconscious.

How these anesthetic drugs are administered depends on the type of procedure in question. Local anesthesia, for instance, usually only requires an injection, while general anesthesia involves intravenous medications.

Administering Anesthesia

 In all cases, administering anesthesia requires precision and careful monitoring, with anesthesiologists calculating the specific amount of medication needed based on a patient’s weight and health. Too little of a drug could result in a patient waking up during surgery, while too much could end up causing oxygen loss and permanent brain damage. This is why it’s so important for anesthesiologists to monitor a patient’s vital signs continuously during a procedure, which will allow them to intervene if there are complications.

Anesthesia Errors 

Unfortunately, despite the advanced training and strict protocols involved in administering anesthesia, errors can and do occur. Most involve:

  • An incorrect dosage;
  • Delayed delivery of the drug;
  • Improper intubation;
  • Failure to monitor;
  • Equipment malfunction; or
  • A failure to identify potential allergies or interactions with a patient’s other medications.

These kinds of errors can cause serious complications, such as:

  • Asphyxia, which causes oxygen loss and potential brain damage;
  • A sudden drop in blood pressure, which can cause organ damage;
  • Allergic reactions;
  • Damage to the throat and airway; and
  • Psychological trauma from waking up during a procedure.

Patients who endure this kind of trauma because of an anesthesia error can and should recover compensation for their losses from the responsible party.

Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Medical Malpractice Lawyers 

If you suffered an injury because of an anesthesia error, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call the experienced Florida medical malpractice attorneys at Boone & Davis today to learn more about your legal options. You can set up a free case review by calling our office at 954-566-9919 or by reaching out to us via online message.


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