Surgery can be the best – or possibly the only – treatment option for medical issues ranging from cancer to certain kinds of broken bones. Although there have been major advances in surgical technology in recent years, there is always the possibility that something may go wrong during an operation. As a result, it is normal (and possibly even wise) for people to be anxious about undergoing surgery, even though the process is typically safe.
When medical professionals adhere to best practices, they can control for most factors and drastically reduce the likelihood of a poor outcome for patients. Yet, simple mistakes – including those involved in the administration of medications to reduce someone’s pain sensitivity or render them unconscious – can result in severe medical complications and possibly even death. These are some of the more common errors made during the administration of preoperative anesthetics.
1. Administering the wrong drug
A doctor getting one drug mixed up with another is one of the most common anesthesia errors. The professional adds the wrong medication, either resulting in excessive sedation or very traumatic experiences like surgical wakefulness.
When anesthesiologists operate in a professional capacity, they should very carefully check what drugs they have before they begin administering them to the patient. Such errors are almost always preventable and frequently lead to major medical issues.
2. Failing to check for allergies before the surgery
Anyone can have an adverse reaction to anesthesia, but many such reactions are predictable with proper screening. Certain kinds of anesthesia are more likely than others to produce a negative reaction in a patient, meaning a doctor should look more carefully at their history and possibly order pre-operative testing.
Certain circumstances, like family history or other allergies, can drastically increase the likelihood of a patient not tolerating a specific kind of anesthesia or having an adverse reaction to its administration. Anesthesiologists should do a thorough medical review looking for any anesthesia complications experienced by immediate family members at the very least.
Anesthesia errors and other mistakes made during surgical procedures can result in life-altering consequences. Pursuing a medical malpractice claim after a surgical error can allow an individual who has been harmed by medical professionals to seek rightful compensation for the losses they’ve suffered. As a result, affected patients or their loved ones shouldn’t hesitate to seek legal guidance.