What is an Anesthesia Error?
Anesthesia is considered to be one of the most vital tools a doctor can use. Used to sedate and/or make the patient temporarily immune to pain, it makes a lot of surgical procedures possible to execute without causing excessive pain or difficulty to the patient. But when not handled the right way, the use of anesthesia can lead to some potentially dangerous consequences. What is an anesthesia error, how is it committed, and what are the potential consequences to the patient?
Anesthesia error is a type of medical error committed when anesthesia is improperly administered to a patient. This is an especially tricky case, particularly because it takes a lot of skill to administer anesthesia. In fact, there’s such thing as an anesthesia specialist. Given the complexity of using these substances, even the slightest error can result into some really serious consequences. In fact, the wrong use of anesthesia can have fatal consequences. As such, errors involving these substances are not taken lightly by both the medical field and the authorities by any means.
What is an anesthesia error all about and how is it committed? Actually, there are multiple ways wherein error can surface. Here are some of the potential sources of errors.
- Failure to recognize allergies- Humans have different allergies. And allergic reactions, even though it may seem so minor to some people, have the potential to cause serious, if not fatal, consequences. It’s standard operating procedure to check first if a person is allergic to a certain anesthetic. Between the severity of an allergy and the potency of these substances, it can make for some potentially fatal health issues.
- Failure to check drug interactions- Often, people who go for surgery to begin with are taking medications for different medical conditions. It’s a fact that before administering particular medications or substances into the body, it’s important to check first if harmful interactions between these substances are in play. Drug interactions can lead to serious health problems, if not sudden death.
- Overdose- Because of the high potency of these drugs, it’s very important that only a particular amount of anesthetic must be administered to the patient. All drugs have adverse effects when introduced in excessive amounts, and the same holds true for anesthesia. Overdose can lead to seizures, comatose, and organ failure, among other adverse effects.
- Lack of preparation- There are standard operating procedures that must be followed by the patient before getting into a particular medical procedure. The same holds true for the use of anesthesia. A patient must be briefed on what he/she can and cannot do before administration. Lack of preparation can lead to disastrous consequences, and this is especially true with the use of these potent substances.
Now that you know what anesthesia error is about, you now understand why it’s a potential medical issue that can never be taken lightly. This is the very reason why doctors receive special training before being allowed to use anesthetics, and why patients must follow strict guidelines before receiving such substances.