Anesthesia is a critical part of surgical procedures as well as labor and delivery and trauma care. Despite the many applications and benefits of anesthesia, it carries risks as well. When the anesthesiologist makes mistakes, it creates a potential malpractice situation.
Understand the most common causes of malpractice associated with anesthesia mistakes.
Inattention during surgery
Patients under general anesthesia require constant monitoring by the anesthesiologist during surgery. A distracted or inattentive anesthesiologist increases the risk that patients might wake up in the middle of surgery and suffer emotional trauma. Sometimes, symptoms of a complication or negative anesthesia reaction get overlooked due to inattention until the reaction becomes severe and potentially life-threatening.
Improper use of equipment
Anesthesia equipment varies in different hospitals and unfamiliarity with the equipment can lead to over or under-administration of anesthesia. When care providers fail to express their uncertainty or seek clarification about the use of new equipment, mistakes can be dangerous.
Failure to review medical files
A patient’s medical files include details about any known drug allergies as well as the medications that the patient currently takes. Failure to review that file for allergens or contraindications could leave a patient vulnerable to complications from anesthesia.
Lack of informed consent
Patients must receive information about the risks and potential complications of anesthesia and consent to its use. Failure to obtain informed consent constitutes malpractice as well.
Recognizing the most common causes of anesthesia mistakes makes it easier for you to identify a potential malpractice situation after your surgery. If you experienced unnecessary complications, consider protecting your rights and seeking compensation.