The development and evolution of anesthesia has made it possible for people to undergo life-saving medical treatments. Before this breakthrough, many patients suffered extreme shock during surgical procedures, which affected the rate of survival. Even with the modern advancements in anesthetic agents, it takes training, practice and skill to administer these drugs in a safe and effective manner.
As in most medical procedures, errors that can be categorized as medical malpractice may occur during anesthesia administration. Examples of common anesthesia errors include the following.
Administering the wrong amount of anesthesia is a problem in many U.S. hospitals, including those in Tennessee. Too high a dose could threaten a patient’s life, while too little anesthesia could cause pain or surgical complications.
Poor IV flow control
The proper flow of intravenous (IV) fluids during medical procedures is critical to the patient, particularly when accompanied by anesthesia. If the flow is too low, the patient may not respond to the medication. When the flow is too high, the patient may suffer complications such as difficulty breathing, elevated blood pressure, headaches and anxiety.
Sometimes, anesthesia residue or even infectious substances can build up inside of anesthetic equipment. In turn, these substances can be passed to the patient during surgical procedures requiring an IV. Children are more susceptible to residual substance contamination than adults are.
Because medical malpractice remains a serious issue in the United States, lawmakers have made it possible for victims to find a legal solution. This helps raise awareness for the public while increasing accountability among medical professionals.
For those who suspect an anesthesia mistake led to an injury, a death or a worsened condition, it may be beneficial to seek legal advice. This helps victims determine whether they are victims of medical malpractice, while opening the door to a satisfactory solution.