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Common Anesthesia Errors that Lead to Medical Malpractice


For most patients, a procedure requiring anesthesia goes according to plan.  Unfortunately, when emergency rooms, operating tables, or surgical centers get busy, mistakes can happen. Learn more about the common types of anesthesia errors and the injuries caused by them:

Common Types of Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia errors often happen because anesthesiologists and other medical professionals are forced to multitask during surgery. There are many different things happening at once, which can lead to distracted doctors and nurses. In turn, this can lead to mistakes, such as:

  • Administering too much or too little anesthetic medication
  • Waiting too long before administering anesthesia
  • Giving the wrong anesthesia drug
  • Interactions with prescription drugs
  • Bad reactions for patients with allergies
  • Forgetting to warn a patient that he should eat or drink prior to surgery
  • Failure to administer oxygen during surgery or properly monitor the patient
  • Defective medical devices and equipment used to administer anesthesia

Injuries Caused by Anesthesia Errors

Too small of a dose may cause the patient to remain partially or fully conscious during the procedure, meaning that he or she could experience extreme pain as surgeons are operating. Improper administration can cause other serious side effects, including:

  • Asphyxiation (loss of oxygen)
  • Aspiration of gastric contents (entry of stomach contents into the respiratory system)
  • Anaphylaxis (serious allergic reaction)
  • Tracheal (windpipe) damage
  • Birth defects
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Cardiac dysrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
  • Myocardial infarction (minor heart attack)
  • Major heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Coma
  • Severe brain damage
  • Death

If you believe that a loved one has suffered injury or death due to an anesthesia error, it’s best to contact an Ohio medical malpractice attorney immediately to see if you have a viable claim for a lawsuit. Allow Elk + Elk to review your anesthesia malpractice claim by calling, toll-free, 1-800-ELK-OHIO for a no-cost consultation or by filling out our free, no-obligation online contact form.