If you have a serious illness or injury, modern medicine likely offers a variety of solutions. While it is often scary, surgery may be the best option for recovering completely. Of course, with many surgical procedures, anesthesia is necessary. After all, sedation medication allows you to get through surgery without feeling pain.
Fortunately, dying because of an anesthesia error is not common. Still, because of the nature of anesthesia, a mistake could lead to life-altering complications. Here are three types of anesthesia-related errors that may put your health in jeopardy.
- Administration errors
Because correctly administering anesthesia is critical, doctors receive extensive training on the process. Nevertheless, administration errors happen. These may include any of the following mishaps:
- Doctors administer too much or too little anesthesia
- Doctors wait too long to administer anesthesia
- Doctors administer the incorrect type of anesthesia
During surgery, an anesthesiologist or another medical professional should closely monitor the delivery of anesthesia. Surgical staff should also regularly check your vital signs. Unfortunately, even seemingly harmless distractions may be catastrophic to your health.
- Equipment errors
In the operating room, doctors, nurses and others use different medical devices, including equipment for administering anesthesia. If equipment malfunctions, IV lines may clog. This may result in the ineffective delivery of necessary anesthesia. Even worse, if monitoring equipment does not perform properly, doctors may not realize you are having a surgery-related health crisis until it is too late to intervene.
- Medication errors
Like other types of medication, anesthesia can cause drug interactions. As such, before administering anesthesia, a physician should research your medical history. He or she should also give you detailed pre-surgery instructions. Similarly, your doctor should watch for signs of an allergic reaction to anesthesia during and after your surgical procedure.
While anesthesia-related medical complications are rare, they often have disastrous results. As such, before undergoing surgery, you should fully understand its risks. To better advocate for your overall health, you should also understand how anesthesia errors typically occur.