Why do anesthesia mistakes happen and how can they be prevented?

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Over 40 million doses of anesthesia are administered annually in the United States. It’s hard to believe a drug used so commonly kills one in every 200,000 patients. Can you imagine sending a loved one in for surgery, only to learn they were harmed by the very medication that was supposed to keep them safe?

Statistically, complications arising from anesthesia mistakes may be just as a dangerous as surgical mistakes. The administration of anesthesia is thought of as just part of the procedure. Often times, doctors and other medical professionals consider it to be as routine as scrubbing in, and that is the problem.

The following are the top 3 reasons anesthesia mistakes occur so frequently:

1. Lack of Communication

When you go in to a hospital for surgery, many people are responsible for your care. Often, these medical professionals do not effectively-communicate with one another. This lack of communication can be very dangerous, especially when it comes to administering a powerful medication such as anesthesia.

2. Under/Improperly-Trained Anesthesiologists

In a surgical setting, anesthesiologists often receive on-the-job training. Typically, patients get to know their surgeons, however, it isn’t uncommon to go into surgery without ever meeting the person administering your anesthesia.

3. Unprepared Anesthesiologists

The administration of anesthesia is highly dependent on many individual factors, such as the age/weight of the patient, the patient’s past history with the medication, and the patient’s medical history. Before determining the correct type and dosage of anesthesia, your doctor must be adequately prepared. A doctor’s failure to read chart notes and/or a patient’s medical history, as well as failing to communicate directly with the patient, can result in serious injury or even death.

Two common issues affecting doctors are: surgical centers and emergency rooms are often (1) overcrowded and (2) understaffed.

In any line of work, rushing to get things done can lead to mistakes, but for medical professionals, rushing to get things done can affect someone’s entire life.

As a patient, it is important to stay informed. Make sure you ask a lot of questions not only about your surgical procedure, but about the anesthesia you will receive for your procedure. Find out who will be administering your anesthesia and communicate your past medical history with every doctor who is responsible for your care.

Only you can prevent yourself from becoming the victim of an anesthesia mistake. However, sometimes no matter what you do, mistakes happen. If you or someone you love was injured or killed as a result of anesthesia mistake, you can have to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373. I can get you the compensation you deserve.

As your Ohio medical malpractice lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.