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Anesthesia errors that may result in medical malpractice

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

Anesthesia is a necessary part of many medical procedures. For example, it can ensure patients remain pain-free.

However, like any medical intervention, anesthesia carries risks. Errors in its administration may lead to severe consequences and medical malpractice claims.

Types of anesthesia errors

Anesthesia errors can occur at various stages, from preoperative assessment to postoperative care. Common errors include dosage miscalculations and administration of the wrong anesthetic agent. Failure to monitor vital signs adequately and inadequate communication among medical professionals are common, too.

Impact on patient safety

Errors in anesthesia administration pose a serious threat to patient safety. The consequences can range from minor complications to life-altering injuries.

Correlation with medical malpractice

Anesthesia errors are a major factor in medical malpractice claims. When health care providers move from the standard of care, patients may suffer harm. About a fifth of anesthesia malpractice claims relate to a failure to rescue. This means a delay in noticing and responding to complications.

Severity and spinal injuries

Among the potential repercussions of anesthesia errors, spinal injuries are particularly grave. The spine is a delicate structure. Mistakes in giving spinal anesthesia, a common procedure, can lead to severe outcomes such as paralysis.

Likelihood of spinal injuries

The likelihood of spinal injuries from anesthesia errors depends on several factors. The skill of the anesthesiologist, the patient’s medical history and the complexity of the procedure all contribute to the potential risk. Inexperienced practitioners and patients with preexisting spinal conditions may face a higher likelihood of complications.

To reduce the risk of anesthesia errors, health care providers must focus on strict protocols. Complete preoperative assessments, effective communication with the medical team and attentive monitoring during and after surgery can prevent errors.