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Some of the most serious surgical risks arise before an operation

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2024 | Surgical Errors |

Surgery is innately dangerous because it involves cutting the human body. Even with years of professional training and a precisely controlled environment, countless things can go wrong. Every year, there are thousands of preventable mistakes ranging from the wrong procedure performed on a patient to items left behind in someone’s body.

One of the most dangerous parts of surgery occurs before a surgeon ever picks up a scalpel to make an incision. The delivery of anesthesia is necessary for a safe surgery, but it is also one of the riskiest elements of any surgical operation.

There are many kinds of anesthesia errors

There are quite a few different ways for an anesthesiologist to put a patient at risk. Some of the most common include failing to check someone for allergies and to properly review their medical history. Both the personal history of the patient and their family history could give an anesthesiologist crucial insight into what drugs may work for them and what drugs they may not tolerate well. Many negative reactions to anesthesia can be predicted and controlled with careful administration and testing.

Things can go wrong even after a doctor selects drugs that should work for a patient. Anesthesiologists sometimes mix up the medications they need to deliver to a patient. They can also give someone the wrong dose. Small mistakes regarding the timing of medication delivery throughout the surgery can lead to major patient consequences. The longer the surgery lasts, the greater the possibility that the patient may have an adverse reaction to the drugs administered.

Anesthesiologists have very rigorous educational and professional standards they need to meet to practice medicine. Despite those standards, anesthesia errors still occur with alarming regularity across the United States. While some anesthesia issues are unpredictable, many of them are avoidable with better medical practices. Realizing that a negative surgical outcome was preventable can make the situation even more tragic for a patient or their family members.

The decision to file a medical malpractice lawsuit is never an easy one, but it could be the right choice after an anesthesia error. When surgery results in a tragic outcome instead of benefiting a patient, the medical professionals involved may have caused that outcome. In such cases, affected patients and their loved ones shouldn’t shoulder the consequences of negligence alone.