Hospital surgery would be a lot less pleasant if it were not for anesthesia and the skill of those who apply it. Yet, even the most experienced person can have an off day, and anesthetists are no exception.
The problem is their role is so important, they cannot afford to make mistakes. That is why hospitals need to have procedures and checks in place to catch an anesthetist’s error before it does someone serious harm.
Anesthesia errors can have long term consequences
If the anesthetist does not give you enough of the drug, they can quickly correct it after you shout out in pain. If they administer too much or use the wrong drug, it could affect you for life.
The anesthetist must first carry out a thorough consultation to ensure that you are not allergic to the drug they intend to use. It also allows them to spot a conflict between the drug they plan to administer and any you currently take. Yet, sometimes they fail to do carry out this basic step.
Adequate supervision is also crucial. If staff ignore monitoring machine alerts or fail to carry out timely checks they could miss a deterioration in your condition.
Anesthesia errors can lead to breathing difficulties. When the oxygen supply is insufficient, you could get brain damage, leaving you with permanent memory loss or learning difficulties. It may mean you can no longer work and need help to carry out household tasks.
When you go in for a relatively simple operation, these are not things you expect to happen. If they do, it is crucial to investigate why they happened and if you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.