What harm can an anesthesia error do?

Anesthetists play a vital role in making surgery more comfortable for you. Yet, the power to bring pain relief comes with significant responsibility.

The drugs that an anesthetist injects into you are powerful, so they need to get the dosage spot on. Too weak, and you could suffer excruciating pain during the operation. Too strong, and the consequences could harm you for life or even kill you.

Each patient is different, so your anesthetist must first understand your medical history to select the right drug and dosage for you. Numerous pre-existing conditions can make anesthesia riskier. These include diabetes, heart and lung conditions and kidney problems. Anesthetists are also responsible for monitoring you throughout and after surgery to ensure the drug is working correctly and does not cause any adverse reaction.

Mistakes with anesthetics can do lifelong damage

Here are some of the most frequent issues that an anesthesia mistake could cause:

  • Memory or learning problems: You are at a higher risk of this if you have Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or have had a heart attack or stroke.
  • Malignant hyperthermia: This is a severe reaction leading to fever and cramps that could be fatal.
  • Difficulties breathing: This is a higher risk if you have sleep apnea. If your airway closes during surgery, the lack of oxygen could cause brain damage or death.
  • Other rarer effects: These include a collapsed lung or nerve damage.

If you suffer during or after surgery due to the anesthetist’s mistake, finding out more about your legal options is crucial. If you can present a medical malpractice claim, you may be able to secure compensation for the harm they have done you.