Many aspects of medicine have become safer over the past decades. That is certainly true of anesthesia.
Fifty or sixty years ago, patients had about a one-in-ten-thousand chance of death when doctors put them under. That number is closer to 1 in 200,000 these days.
Safer medicine, safer technology
The main reasons for this improvement in safety are better medicine and better technology. Anesthesiologists are now much better at monitoring while a patient is under anesthetics. There are also often support systems in place to help doctors make the best possible decisions.
Surgeries also tend to be less invasive and less time-consuming than they were before. These and many more factors come together to result in a safer atmosphere for patients who need sedation.
Anesthesia mistakes still happen
Even with all of this technology and advancement of knowledge, people still receive injuries or die as a result of anesthesia. Some of these tragedies are unpredictable and unavoidable. Others could be the result of incompetence on the part of the anesthesiologist or hospital.
Regardless of how safe a procedure becomes, human error or oversight still has the potential to serious injury. When this happens, it is important to root out the problem and hold responsible parties accountable for their actions. In fact, as procedures become safer, serious mistakes become even more suspect as potential malpractice.
Doctors and hospitals are likely to say that there is some danger associated with anesthesia. They might even communicate the risks ahead of time. Even so, if an injury or death is the result of incompetence or negligence, that is not part of the predictable, acceptable risks associated with the medical procedure.