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Personal Injury · Wrongful Death · Medical Malpractice

Declines in Anesthesia Errors are Still Not Enough

Surgery is always stressful. The fear of complications, along with the pain that often accompanies medical procedures, causes most patients to feel anxiety when facing a surgical procedure. To manage these worries, individuals rely on their physicians to provide adequate and appropriate anesthesia to manage the pain. These medical professionals are entrusted with the well-being of their patients and errors can result in immense pain and even death. A recent report shows a decline in the number of anesthesiology errors made, which is good news. However, until 100% of mistakes are avoided, too many patients continue to suffer the painful effects of anesthesiology mishaps.

Complications from Anesthesiology

Medical Express is reporting about a study that examined more than 3 million medical cases where anesthesiology was administered between 2010 and 2013. Researchers found that complications declined between those dates from an 11.8% high to a 4.8% low. While these statistics represent a decrease in less serious complications, the number of anesthesiology-related deaths remained constant.

Dr. Jeana Havidich, a professor of anesthesiologist at Dartmouth, authored the study. She was quoted in the article as stating, “Our goal was to determine the nature and incidence of surgical complications at the national level and to identify their risk factors… Previous studies examined adverse events for specific surgical procedures, types of anesthesia or patient populations. This is the first time we’ve been able to look at such a large amount of data on a national level.”

Anesthesia complications vary significantly in their levels of seriousness. According to the Mayo Clinic, some common problems include:

  • Nausea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Sleepiness;
  • Shivering;
  • Dry mouth;
  • Hoarseness;
  • Sore throat; and
  • Pain at surgical site.

Some less frequent, but more serious problems reportedly include:

  • Stroke;
  • Temporary mental confusion;
  • Heart attack;
  • Lung infections; and
  • Death.

According to reports, about 1 out of every 1000 wake up during their procedure, despite being administered anesthesia. This can occur when the anesthesiologist does not administer an adequate amount of medication, or when the anesthesia negatively reacts with another medication. In most of these situations, the patient does not feel the pain of the procedure, but they are technically awake and aware what the doctors are doing. Though these patients may not feel pain, this type of complication can lead to severe mental and emotional strains.

In a small, but still significant, number of situations, anesthesia does not take. This can result in an unbearable amount of pain for the patient. Further exacerbating the situation is the fact that the patient is often under the influence of relaxants, which makes them unable to communicate the problem at the time.

Though anesthesia complications are on the decline, any complication can prove devastating for a patient. When these incidents occur, negligent physicians should be held responsible for their actions and made to compensate the victim.

Reach Out to Our Miami Lawyers for Help

If you or a loved one has experienced the pain of an anesthesiology complication, contact the Miami legal team of Pita & Del Prado, PA for knowledgeable and skillful representation. Call the office today at (888) 670-8060 for a free consultation.

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