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6 examples of anesthesia complications

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2022 | Medical Malpractice |

Anesthesia is one of the best scientific breakthroughs in medicine. That said, it’s not without its flaws. About 17,116 patients suffered from anesthesia errors between the years 2007 and 2014. 

Though the error risk is small, complications and errors due to anesthesia still occur. Below are six examples of anesthesia complications.

Nerve damage

Some anesthetic procedures result in weakness, numbness or nerve pain/damage. These can leave some patients with temporary or permanent injuries.


One of the most common anesthesia complications is vomiting or nausea. Patients who vomit or feel nauseous after surgery usually have to stay in the hospital longer than their initial discharge date.

Waking up during surgery

Approximately two in 1,000 patients wake up during surgery. Those needing emergency operations like heart surgery or C-sections are more prone to this.

Post-surgery confusion

After a surgical procedure ends, some patients develop memory and learning difficulties that can go on for a week or longer. Due to their age, seniors are the most susceptible to post-surgery confusion.

Surgical aspiration

During surgery, sometimes food, drink and other substances fall into the lungs, i.e., aspiration. Because patients can’t cough under anesthesia, this can lead to pneumonia and is likely to delay recovery. 

MH (Malignant hyperthermia)

MH is a hereditary condition that puts patients at dire risk of anesthesia complications. Its symptoms include muscle contractions and high fever. If medical professionals fail to diagnose and treat this condition, the patient in question can suffer from organ failure.

Patients can lower their risks of the above anesthetic complications by not eating or drinking for several hours before surgery. They can also take blood tests to check for risky genetic conditions.

However, many anesthesia complications happen because hospital personnel sometimes fail to convey proper surgery preparation instructions or they use too much/too little anesthesia. If you or a loved one suffered severe damage from an anesthesia complication, consider seeking legal assistance to learn about medical malpractice compensation.