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3 common anesthesia errors

If you have ever had to undergo medical treatment that involved the use of anesthesia, or if you have ever had to watch a loved one do so, you may have a firm understanding of just how nerve-wracking it can be. Anesthesiologists must exercise extreme care and use very precise measurements when treating patients using anesthesia, or a wealth of problems and complications can result.

Many anesthesia-related errors occur because of similar circumstances, and many anesthesia mistakes involve:

1. Inaccurate dosing

If your anesthesiologist administers too much or not enough of the anesthetic, you may find yourself in serious danger. The majority of the time, dosing errors happen in the middle of the anesthetic treatment, and they are often the result of inattention, unfamiliarity with the equipment or a simple lack of experience on the part of the anesthesiologist.

2. Residual anesthetics

In some cases, anesthesia errors involve an anesthesiologist unintentionally spreading infection or residual aesthetics into a patient’s veins while flushing out anesthetic devices. It is not entirely clear just how common an occurrence this is, although it appears to happen more frequently when anesthesiologists are treating children as opposed to adults.

3. Improper pain treatment

A third common anesthesia-related medical error involves poor pain management after anesthetic treatment. Certain pain medications, such as opioids, can lead to harmful side effects in patients that might include nausea and vomiting, among others. It is essential that medical professionals find a way to properly manage patient pain while reducing the likelihood of side effects to the fullest extent possible.

Anesthesia mistakes can lead to multiple complications, including brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, heart problems and paralysis, among others. Pregnant women, too, face serious hardship and risk when medical errors involving anesthesia occur, and so, too, do their babies. While these three errors are some of today’s more common anesthesia-related mistakes, this is not a comprehensive list of all possible complications.

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