Which Types of Medical Errors Can Occur During General Anesthesia?

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 2-Nov-2017

Some types of surgical procedures require patients to undergo general anesthesia. With regional anesthesia, one part of the body is numbed so surgical procedures can be performed. General anesthesia is where patients are rendered unconscious. For this reason, general anesthesia is riskier than regional anesthesia. Nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologists can make mistakes that may kill or catastrophically injure patients during general anesthesia. Common anesthesia errors include:

  • Giving too much, too little, or the wrong kind of anesthesia: Anesthesiologists or nurse anesthetists may give patients an excessive amount of one or more anesthetics. In other cases, they may inject the wrong type of anesthetic. An overdose could cause catastrophic injuries or death. If patients do not receive enough anesthesia, they may be at risk of waking up during surgery.
  • Failing to monitor patients: Vital signs must be carefully monitored during general anesthesia. Hospital staff must be able to quickly identify and treat any complications that may arise. Patients can die or suffer catastrophic injuries if they are not carefully monitored.
  • Improper endotracheal intubation: If breathing tubes are not correctly inserted into the esophagus, then a patient can suffer multiple types of injuries or death.
  • Failing to provide preop instructions: Patients must be given important instructions before their operations. For example, if patients are not warned to avoid eating or drinking before their surgeries, they can suffer complications.
  • Surgical fires: Oxygen can ignite if it comes too close to hot surgical equipment. Patients can suffer burns as a result. According to the FDA, there are 550 to 650 surgical fires each year.

Can I File a Lawsuit for Anesthesia Errors?

These are only a few examples of medical mistakes that can occur during general anesthesia. Patients can also be harmed by defective equipment. Depending on the circumstances, multiple parties can be liable for patient injuries or deaths caused by anesthesia errors. Patients or their family members should speak with a medical malpractice attorney to discover which parties are liable.

The Washington DC medical malpractice lawyers at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC can investigate your claim at no cost. Our attorneys have helped victims of medical malpractice recover millions of dollars in settlements or verdicts.

Categories: Medical Malpractice
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