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Understanding the common complications of anesthesia mistakes

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

Proper anesthesia administration is a critical part of any surgical procedure. Anesthesia ensures a patient’s comfort and safety throughout the procedure. Unfortunately, sometimes anesthesia errors occur. When they do, they can bring life-altering consequences.

Many complications can result from anesthesia errors during surgery.

Respiratory distress

Anesthesia plays a crucial role in controlling a patient’s breathing during surgery. Anesthesia errors may lead to respiratory distress, including hypoventilation or even respiratory failure. The consequences can range from mild complications to severe oxygen deprivation. This may lead to brain damage or permanent disability.

Allergic reactions

Administering the wrong type of anesthesia or failing to account for a patient’s allergies can trigger severe allergic reactions. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic response that can cause extensive complications.

Malignant hyperthermia

Anesthesia errors can induce a rare, lethal condition known as malignant hyperthermia. This condition leads to a rapid increase in body temperature. It also causes muscle rigidity and a cascade of metabolic changes. It can be life-threatening if not addressed right away.

Postoperative complications

Improper anesthesia administration can contribute to prolonged recovery times and postoperative complications. Patients may experience nausea, vomiting, confusion and delayed awakening. This may impact their recovery and lead to extended hospital stays.

The majority of surgeries involving anesthesia proceed without complications. Despite that, the stakes are high when errors occur. Anesthesia-related fatalities only occur in an average of 1 out of every 200,000 patients. The risk of other complications, such as those listed here, is more significant. Recognizing the more significant complications and long-term effects of anesthesia can help you understand when errors may have occurred.

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