Errors in administering anesthesia are typically more dangerous than mistakes made during surgery. If an anesthesiologist makes even a small error, the potential results are brain damage, permanent injury, and death. Prior to administering the anesthesia, an anesthesiologist can commit acts of medical malpractice by:
- Failing to properly investigate and study the patient’s medical history, for the purpose of identifying potential complications; or by
- Failing to ensure that the patient is aware of the seriousness of the risks involved with not following pre-operative instructions. For example, it is essential that the patient not eat for a certain number of hours prior to surgery.
Among the common anesthesia errors that occur during surgery are the following:
- Administering too much anesthesia.
- Failing to properly monitor the patient’s vital signs.
- Using defective equipment.
- Improperly intubating the patient, which involves placing a tube in the trachea in order to assist with breathing.
A surgical error is a preventable error that occurs while performing surgery. There are certain elements of risk in all surgeries. What sets surgical errors apart is that they are unexpected and go beyond the basic risks of surgery. The following are some of the reasons preventable surgical errors occur:
- Poor Communication. There are many ways in which failure to properly communicate can result in a legitimate medical malpractice suit. Examples include: marking the wrong part of the body for surgery; failing to ensure that all needed surgical equipment is sterilized and on hand; and miscommunicating a patient’s prescription dosage.