Undergoing a major medical procedure is a stressful situation, but in most cases, you will be unconscious as the surgery happens. This, of course, is dependent upon the correct administration of anesthesia prior to your operation. Unfortunately, anesthesia errors are some of the most common culprits of medical malpractice, and a simple mistake can easily become deadly.
The following are three of the most common errors made when patients undergo anesthesia. If you suspect that you have been a victim of one of these medical mistakes, you should understand your rights and the legal recourse that is available to you.
1. Dosage too high or low
A range of factors goes into the calculation of how much anesthesia a patient should receive. Generally, the patient’s weight is the most important factor, but blood pressure and the ratio of lidocaine to epinephrine are also important for the anesthesiologist to consider. If an error is made in this calculation, a patient may receive too much or too little anesthesia, and both are liable to have catastrophic consequences.
2. Administered too late
In addition to the dosage, the timing of anesthesia administration is of the utmost importance. If the anesthesiologist administers the medication too late prior to the beginning of your surgery, it could end up being ineffective. Anesthesiologists must carefully time the administration of the drug according to the schedule of the procedure.
3. Failure to prevent reaction
It is surprisingly common for patients to exhibit allergic reactions to anesthesia. Because you are not likely to encounter anesthesia outside of a medical setting, you may not know that you are allergic until you have a reaction. It is the responsibility of your medical provider, though, to prevent any such reaction from occurring by testing you beforehand to ensure that you will not react adversely.