Needing to go under the knife for surgery feels intimidating and frightening. Most people feel scared because of the actual cutting that occurs, as well as the potential for infection and pain after the surgery.
People often fail to recognize the anesthesia, the drugs that put you to sleep and prevent you from feeling the pain of the surgery, represents one of the biggest dangers in the surgical process. Anesthesiologists are highly trained medical professionals who, theoretically, have the education and skills to render someone unconscious and insensitive for the duration of surgery.
Unfortunately, when anesthesiologists make mistakes, there can be tragic results for the patient. Anesthesia mistakes can result in permanent injury, a failed surgery or even death, in some cases.
Common mistakes include improper dosing and improper timing
The anesthesiologist managing your anesthesia should review your medical history and even your family history to determine the best drugs and dosage for your situation. They should then carefully oversee the administration of those drugs to ensure you don’t have a bad reaction to them. Bad reactions could include allergic responses.
Despite all their training, sometimes anesthesiologists make mistakes and administer a dose that is too high, which could put people into a coma or kill them, especially if the drug slows the heart or breathing rate for a patient.
It’s also possible that they get the dosing correct but they improperly time the release of the drugs through IVs or intravenous delivery. When that happens, the patient could suffer negative consequences, which could lead to death in the worst cases.
Anesthesia mistakes can also sometimes result in paralysis
There are many different kinds of anesthesia, and doctors may administer a variety of different medications. There are oral drugs that people ingest, inhaled gases, IV drugs and even drugs administered directly into the spinal cord.
Mistakes with spinal anesthesia could result in permanent paralysis or nerve issues for the patient. Those who get hurt because of improper anesthesia, as well as those who lose a loved one to anesthesia mistakes, may have the right to bring legal action against the anesthesiologist who made the mistake or the hospital where the mistake took place.