Anesthetists play an essential role in making surgery more bearable. It is a highly-skilled job that takes years of training to qualify for.
Yet, like everyone, anesthetists can have a bad day. If they do, the results could be catastrophic.
Surgery is about teamwork
Understanding the possible outcomes of anesthesia errors makes it obvious that hospitals must have procedures in place to ensure that when an anesthetist makes a mistake, someone else spots it before the patient is harmed.
Here is what could happen if an anesthetist gets something wrong:
- Pain: Too little of the drug could lead to someone feeling when they should not be feeling at all. Having someone cut you open or poke about inside you will clearly hurt a lot, and the experience could leave lasting trauma.
- Breathing difficulties: The medical team needs to monitor breathing carefully and supply oxygen if needed. Otherwise, long-term brain damage could occur. This could affect cognitive and physical functions for life.
- Malignant hyperthermia: It is a reaction to anesthesia. Certain people are more at risk of it than others, so staff must check the patient’s medical history first.
Close monitoring is crucial both throughout the surgery and after. The anesthetist must be sure that the effects of the anesthesia are safely over.
If an anesthesia error harmed you or a loved one, you need to look into your options for compensation. One route may be to claim against the anesthetist. Another is to claim against the hospital. Medical malpractice claims are only permitted when strict conditions are met, so seek help to understand if your situation warrants one.