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How common are anesthesia errors?

One of the most critical aspects of surgery is the administration of anesthesia. You may not think much about it when you are consenting to a medical procedure in New York that requires you to have it. But it is an aspect of medical care you should not overlook. When administered properly, it relaxes the body and takes away the pain and discomfort you would normally feel without it. When it is given improperly, the results could lead to a great deal of pain, trauma, complications and death. 

Anesthesia errors are a lot more common than you may think. According to, each year, medical mistakes that include anesthesia errors cause an estimated 250,000 patients to lose their lives. Here is a brief overview on how they occur and to prevent them. 

How mistakes are made when anesthesia is used 

There are risks to most medical and surgical procedures, especially when the use of anesthesia is necessary. When mistakes occur in the delivery of care, the risks of complications and death skyrocket. Common ways doctors make mistakes with anesthesia are: 

  •        Administering too much or too little
  •        Not recognizing adverse reactions
  •        Waiting too long to administer
  •        Use of defective anesthesia delivery equipment
  •        Insufficient monitoring of patient
  •        Wrong positioning of patient 

Common complications that arise include brain and organ damage, failure, paralysis and birth injuries. Keep in mind that doctors are not the only health care personnel who make mistakes with anesthesia. Nurses and other surgical support staff can play a role in the commission of errors too. 

Many medical mistakes go unreported. Precautionary measures are necessary to help reduce the number of anesthesia errors that health care professionals make.

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