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Anesthesia errors can lead to patient harm

When you go to the doctor, you trust that the care you are receiving meets a certain standard. This expectation extends to other care providers, including your nurses, medical technicians and anesthesiologists who may play a role in your treatment plan. All of these individuals have an obligation to provide you with care that meets a certain standard. When you suffer an injury while under the care of a doctor or other type of provider, you could be left struggling with the aftermath and how you will move forward.

Anesthesiologists are the doctors who oversee your pain relief and level of consciousness during a medical procedure. There are types of anesthesia that simply block pain while you are awake, while others allow you to safely go to sleep while you are in surgery. This is an intricate area of law as the right type of medication and dose depends on the details of the individual situation. Mistakes with anesthesia can have devastating consequences, but they are preventable.

Common mistakes you may encounter

Anesthesia errors often relate to issues with the dosage or type of medication given to a patient. Due to the significant amount of risk associated with this area of medicine, it is critical for hospitals and doctors to do everything possible to ensure that everything is correct and appropriate for the treatment plan for the specific patient. The following are steps that may lower the chance of this type of mistake and increase patient safety:

  • During a procedure, use prefilled syringes with the right dosage and type of medication.
  • Have a safety committee dedicated to regular evaluation of medication practices in the facility.
  • Use a barcode or chip security system to take medication from an automated dispensing cabinet.
  • Create a culture that promotes safe practices, including a system that allows one to report issues, near-misses and other concerns without fear of punishment.

When Oregon anesthesiologists make a mistake, it can have devastating consequences for a patient, including serious injury or death. In many cases, these events are avoidable through safety measures and proper care of a patient. In the event that a medication error does result in the injury or death of someone under the care of an anesthesiologist, it may be appropriate for the victim to pursue recovery through a personal injury claim.