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What Are The Common Examples Of Anesthesia Errors?


Anesthesia is a medication that blocks the feeling of pain and other sensations to allow medical professionals to perform surgical operations without causing unbearable discomfort to the patient.

There are several types of anesthesia, which can either induce unconsciousness or numb a small area of the body. Administering anesthesia carries risks of complications, including medical errors.

While some of these complications are not preventable, others occur as a result of negligence and may constitute medical malpractice. It is essential to discuss your particular situation with an Atlanta anesthesia error lawyer to determine whether or not you can sue your anesthesiologist or another medical professional for malpractice.

Examples of Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia errors can occur either before or during a medical or surgical procedure involving the administration of anesthesia.

Pre-Surgery Errors

Many anesthesia errors occur due to the anesthesiologist or another medical professional’s failure to:

  • Properly communicate with the patient;
  • Thoroughly review the patient’s medical history; or
  • Adhere to the accepted standards of care.

An anesthesiologist may end up administering the drug the patient is allergic to, which could cause serious complications or even death.

Underdose or Overdose

Dosage errors are among the most common anesthesia errors. Anesthesiologists have an obligation to administer the correct dosage to patients. Giving too little anesthesia could result in anesthesia awareness, while overdose could lead to organ damage or coma.

Intubation/Extubating Errors

When a patient is under general anesthesia, their diaphragm is paralyzed during the procedure. This can make it difficult for the patient to breathe. For this reason, the anesthesiologist performs intubation to restore oxygen flow to the patient’s airways. If the anesthesiologist is negligent or careless when intubating or extubating a patient, serious injury may occur.


When a patient is under general anesthesia, there is a risk of aspiration, which refers to a patient’s inability to swallow. As a result, the patient ends up vomiting food and liquids into their lungs. Aspiration can lead to lung injuries, pneumonia, and even death.

Inadequate Patient Monitoring

In addition to administering the correct dosage of anesthesia, anesthesiologists also have an obligation to monitor patients during medical or surgical operations. Anesthesiologists monitor the patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, breathing, consciousness level, and other vital signals.

Anesthesiologists and other medical professionals must use monitoring equipment to alert them of signs of distress or complications. If a healthcare provider turns off the monitoring equipment, they are likely to miss alerts.

Anesthesia Awareness

Anesthesia awareness is one of the worst things that can happen to a patient during surgery. Administering an incorrect dosage of anesthesia can result in the patient waking up during the surgery. If anesthesia awareness occurs, the patient is likely to experience unbearable pain and may not be able to communicate, move, or even breathe.

A patient who wakes up on the surgery table may suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, emotional distress, and other types of harm.

If you believe that you or your loved one has been a victim of an anesthesia error, do not hesitate to speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to determine if you can sue the anesthesiologist or another medical provider for your losses and damages.

Contact our attorney at Carroll Law Firm by calling 404-816-4555.

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