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How common are surgical anesthesia errors?

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

While anesthesia is crucial to preventing pain during medical procedures, administering anesthesia comes with risks. Anesthesia errors happen daily in hospitals across the country, sometimes with fatal consequences. If a mistake happens, it’s essential to determine whether a medical care provider is at fault.

When you have evidence of medical error, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

The following anesthesia errors could qualify as malpractice:

  • Administering too much anesthesia
  • Administering too little anesthesia, resulting in awareness and pain during a procedure
  • Delayed delivery of anesthesia
  • Failure to recognize and prevent adverse reactions from drug interactions
  • Administering the wrong type of anesthesia
  • Administering anesthesia when the patient is allergic
  • Failure to provide patient instructions before administering anesthesia
  • Failure to monitor patient while under the influence of anesthesia
  • Failure to position the patient correctly on the table, resulting in loss of blood flow or other harm
  • Defective equipment used during anesthesia

How often do anesthesia errors happen?

According to a 2019 article from the National Library of Medicine, there were a total of 17,116 anesthesia errors reported during the period between 2007 to 2014, including 131 deaths. There was a significant decrease (44%) in errors over this period, indicating rising standards in this field. The mortality rate decreased by 7.1% over the same period.

Although the rate of anesthesia errors is relatively low, it is devastating for the families of those impacted. Know that there are legal options available to you.