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Common Causes of Anesthesia Errors & How to Prevent Them

doctor administering anesthesia to woman lying down

Anesthesia is a crucial component of many medical procedures. Using it enables doctors to treat patients without causing them pain and distress. However, occasionally anesthesiologists make mistakes during anesthesia administration which can cause allergic reactions, nausea, and even death in patients if they aren’t careful. Our Anchorage anesthesia malpractice attorney explains the most common anesthesia mistakes, how you can help to prevent them, and what you can do to fight back if you get hurt.

Anesthesia Errors & Effects

Most anesthesia errors are caused by negligence, whether in the form of improper training of medical staff or a technician getting distracted while performing a routine procedure.

Common anesthesia errors include:

  • Administering the wrong drug dosage (either too much or too little)
  • Administering the incorrect anesthesia
  • Failure to adequately instruct patients prior to administration
  • Failure to properly monitor patients while under anesthesia
  • Failure to properly review the patient’s medical history and charts
  • Defective medical equipment

Possible injuries, illnesses, and other negative circumstances caused by improper anesthesia use may include:

  • Waking up in the middle of a surgical or other medical procedure
  • Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction)
  • Nausea
  • High blood pressure
  • Tooth damage (in cases when anesthesia is administered orally)
  • Aspiration (when something gets stuck in your respiratory tract)
  • Brain damage
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Coma
  • Death

There are many different types and uses of anesthesia, so the effects may vary. If you experience any kind of discomfort, pain, or trauma following your procedure, seek medical attention at once. You may be the victim of medication errors in the operating room.

Avoiding Common Anesthesia Errors

Be open and honest with your doctor and other medical professionals. Before a procedure, ask to meet with your anesthesiologist and bring up any concerns you may have—no matter how small. Always follow your doctor’s instructions concerning what to do before surgery, especially if they instruct you not to eat in the hours before. Feel free to inquire if there are alternatives to anesthesia. Also, ask your family members if they’ve ever had a negative reaction to anesthesia—this could be a sign that you too are allergic.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by an anesthesia error, you can make a claim against the medical professional or institution that caused the mistake. An attorney can help.

Our Anchorage anesthesia malpractice lawyer can help you file a claim and receive compensation if you have been hurt by an anesthesia error in Alaska. We offer free consultations, so contact us today at no cost.