Anesthesia is one of the most crucial advancements in medicine as it has helped doctors perform surgeries without putting their patients through undue pain. As with other healthcare procedures, errors can occur during the administration and use of anesthesia. Fortunately, healthcare facilities, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare professionals have worked and are working on solutions that help prevent these errors from happening. Here are some of the most common anesthesia mistakes and steps taken to avoid them.
Dosing errors can occur during the administration of anesthesia at the start of a procedure and in the middle of it. Dosing errors are more devastating than people think because they can cause people to wake up in the middle of surgery. Doing so can cause them pain and trauma in seeing what is happening to them during surgery.
Also, there are cases of patients overdosing due to anesthesia dosing errors that can cause a sudden decrease in blood pressure leading to serious injury and even fatality. If you have been harmed due to an anesthesia error, you should contact a lawyer for an anesthesia claim consultation.
Some of the most common causes of such errors include carelessness, inattention, haste, inadequate training leading to little familiarity with equipment and devices, and inadequate experience. Training can solve many of these issues, and hospitals are encouraging anesthesiologists to speak up if they are unsure about anything during surgery.
Administration of Residual Anesthetics
Some stopcocks have dead space that can cause residual anesthetics and infections to be delivered to a patient when flushing an IV line or device. The risk of this happening is higher in children, and it often goes unreported. The use of modern equipment and devices helps solve this issue, and it is used in combination with single-use equipment to prevent the buildup of residual anesthetics or pathogens.
IV Flow Rate Control Issues
Regulating intravenous flow is crucial, especially when administering anesthesia. Not setting the right flow rate for a patient, especially during surgery, can have devastating consequences, especially if the issue is not caught and reversed in time.
Many patients report headaches, anxiety, respiratory issues, and anxiety if fluid overloads happen. In many cases, doctors can be confused about these “new” symptoms, especially if the patient has not presented with them before, and if their condition or illness does not account for them. In contrast, patients can react differently from how they are expected in case of a very slow flow rate.
Many healthcare facilities now use devices that prevent both issues discussed above by setting the appropriate flow rate. These devices also eliminate the need for flushing the line using a syringe after the administration of a medication.
Post-op Pain Management Challenges
Anesthesia uses multiple drugs, and these drugs have a residual effect up to a few hours postoperative. Healthcare professionals have to be careful when administering post-operative medications for this reason. Poor timing can lead to additional issues such as chronic regional pain syndrome, anxiety, vomiting, and nausea.
While it is crucial for modern medicine, anesthesiologists should be careful when administering and using anesthetics. Failure to do so can lead to errors that cause serious injuries, long-term complications, and even fatalities.