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Anesthesia is absolutely essential in most major or minor surgical procedures. Both the patient and doctor benefit greatly in that the patient feels nothing, while the doctor has a still patient to work with. But despite being such a common staple in many surgical procedures, anesthesia errors are very common and when they occur, the result could be devastating.

Anesthesia is a term that is used to describe one or more drugs administered to a patient in order to temporarily sedate a patient undergoing a surgical procedure. Anesthesia is administered over 40 million times every year for a variety of procedures. Anesthesia errors are often the result of neglect be it on the part of the doctor, nurse, or a disorganized medical staff. Anesthesia errors that can occur during surgery are:

• Administering an excessive amount of anesthetic

• Administering the wrong kind of anesthetic for a procedure

• Not administering enough anesthetic resulting in anesthetic awareness (waking during surgery, etc.)

• Defective medical equipment used to administer anesthetic

• Administering anesthetic that conflicts with other drugs or medications a patient is taking

• Failure to instruct a patient regarding anesthetic, such as dietary requirements

• Administering anesthetic that conflicts with a patient’s allegories

Injuries and complications that can result from these and other common anesthesia errors are:

• Heart problems

• Asphyxia

• Dizziness

• Confusion

• Blurred Vision

• Seizures

• Stoke

• Organ damage / failure

• Heart failure

• Respiratory issues

• Overdose

• Death

Anesthesia errors are referred to by professionals as “never events”. As the name states, administering anesthesia is so common that errors like these should just never occur. Statistics show that over 4,000 patients who undergo a surgical procedure are affected by these errors every year. These mistakes should never happen but if they do, they’re often the result of gross negligence.  

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or if you’ve lost a loved one as a result of an anesthesia error, contact a medical malpractice lawyer who could help.  Contact the law offices of Berger & Lagnese today by calling 412-471-4300 or contact online to schedule your case consultation.