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3 common anesthesia errors

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2020 | Firm News

It’s impossible to overstate what a marvel anesthesia is to the practice of medicine. When administered properly, it allows doctors to perform astounding medical maneuvers without having to worry about a conscious patient who is writhing in pain. However, it’s possible to make mistakes when administering anesthesia. When an error occurs, it can spell disaster for a victim. The following are three common anesthesia errors of which you should be aware.

1. Misinterpreting a patient’s medical records

Sometimes, a doctor may make handwritten notes in a patient’s chart or medical records. The cliché about poor penmanship among medical professionals is often true. This can make it difficult for the anesthesiologist to interpret.

Another common mistake is the failure of the anesthesiologist to review the records in detail. The failure to take note of a patient’s allergies, underlying medical conditions, medical history, or even basic information such as the patient’s height and weight can lead to catastrophe.

2. Failing to administer the proper dose

Much like the story of Goldilocks, the administration of anesthesia must be done just right. Too little means there is a risk of the patient waking up or feeling pain during the procedure. Too much could be fatal. It requires a deft touch to thread this needle. An anesthesiologist must devote their full attention when administering anesthesia.

3. Failure to monitor the patient

Surgery is not an individual effort. The anesthesiologist and other members of the medical team are responsible for monitoring a patient’s vital signs throughout the procedure. If it appears that a patient is waking up or is otherwise conscious of their surroundings, immediate action needs to be taken. If vital signs start to drop, swift action can mean the difference between life and death.

Anesthesia errors can lead to a host of medical problems, including strokes, heart attacks, and brain injuries. The most extreme cases can result in fatalities. A skilled legal professional can help explore your options if you have suffered harm as the result of an anesthesia error.