While the specific errors can vary, some common scenarios in which anesthesia errors occur include:
Medication and Dosage Errors
Mistakes in drug selection, preparation, or administration can occur. Anesthesia providers must be precise in choosing and administering medications to avoid adverse effects. Administering too much or too little anesthesia can lead to complications. Overdosing may cause respiratory depression or cardiovascular problems, while underdosing may result in inadequate anesthesia and awareness during surgery.
Failure to Monitor and Delayed Response to Complications
More Inadequate monitoring of a patient during anesthesia can lead to undetected complications. Monitoring should include vital signs, oxygen levels, and other relevant parameters. Health care providers such as surgeons and anesthesiologists, must be prepared to respond quickly to unexpected complications, such as changes in blood pressure, heart rate, or breathing that may take place during a procedure. Even issues such as patient positioning during surgery can lead to complications, such as nerve damage or impaired blood flow.
Delayed responses to identifying and correcting these issues can result in serious harm to the patient.
Inadequate Pre-Operative Screening including Allergic Reactions
Failing to conduct a thorough preoperative assessment of the patient’s medical history, particularly cardiac and respiratory, and other potential risk factors can lead to complications during anesthesia. Critically, this screening is also used to identify and address allergies to anesthesia drugs can result in severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis.
Inadequate Postoperative Care and Monitoring
Finally, failing to provide appropriate postoperative care, including monitoring for lingering effects of anesthesia and addressing pain management, can lead to significant complications with resulting injury post-surgery during the recovery period.