Anesthesia, when administered properly, is miraculous. It enables doctors to perform complicated medical procedures without leaving patients conscious and writhing in pain. However, anesthesia errors do occur. When they do, the results can be disastrous for the victim. Here are three ways anesthesia mistakes can happen.
1. Misinterpreting medical records
If there are handwritten notes in a patient’s medical charts, the anesthesiologist may have difficulty reading them. Mistakes can also occur when an anesthesiologist doesn’t take the time to review a patient’s chart in detail. Failing to note any underlying medical conditions, allergies, surgical history, or even a person’s height and weight can lead to catastrophe.
2. Improper dosing
Administering the right of amount of anesthesia requires a Goldilocks approach. Too little anesthesia and you run the risk of the patient waking up or feeling pain during the surgery. Too much anesthesia may be fatal. Anesthesiologists must be vigilant when threading this needle.
3. Failing to monitor the patient
Anesthesiologists and other members of the medical team should continuously monitor the surgical patient. Any signs that a patient may be aware of their surroundings need to be addressed immediately. Monitoring a patient’s vital signs is also essential. Proper monitoring can stop potential issues before they develop into a serious problem.
The possible effects of an anesthesia error
Anesthesia errors can result in a wide range of problems, including:
- Cardiac arrest
- Brain injury
In some cases, an anesthesia error may even be fatal. A skilled professional can help you explore your legal options if you or a loved one has suffered harm as the result of an anesthesia error.