Many patients do not realize that their health is in more than the hands of the surgeon when they check into the hospital for surgery. However, the anesthesiologist plays a vital role in a successful surgery and recovery. Responsible for putting you under general anesthesia before your operation, the anesthesiologist must be alert, attentive, properly trained, and careful.
Unfortunately, a number of surgical errors and medical malpractice lawsuits take place because of the carelessness or negligence of the anesthesiologist. These mistakes are often extremely dire - and lead to either irreversible brain damage or death. The patients could receive the wrong amount of anesthesia, the wrong medications altogether, or have an adverse reaction to the procedure. Many of these anesthesia mistakes lead to a lack of oxygen in the brain that can result in brain damage. Some estimates put forth that one person in every 1,000 will suffer a complication due to an anesthesia error.
Here are just a few of the possible anesthesia-related errors that could take place in the operating room:
- During anesthesia, the patients' airway is obstructed due to improper positioning or other causes.
- The patient is over sedated, resulting in a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream.
- Before surgery, the patient is not properly assessed by the anesthesiologist.
- The anesthesiologist makes a bad decision or action due to poor or improper training.
- The patient is under-sedated and is awake or aware during surgery.
- The patient's monitoring devices, such as their blood pressure cuff, is not set up properly, resulting in missed warning signs during surgery.
- The anesthesiologist fails to properly read or interpret the patient's charts or vital signs.
- The anesthesiologist fails to get informed consent from the patient.
- The anesthesiologist fails to recognize warning signs when the patient has a reaction to the procedure.
- The anesthesiologist gives an improper dose of the anesthesia medication, resulting in injury.