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Analyzing anesthesia errors

| Sep 13, 2016 | Surgical Errors

Those seeking surgical interventions in Queens should understand that during their procedures, they may be relying not only on the skills of their surgeons, but in those of the anesthesiologists assigned to their cases, as well. Anesthetic agents make it possible for one to be able avoid the pain inherent with operating on the body, yet few understand the mechanisms for how they are able to do this. These drugs either render patients unconscious (in the case of general anesthesia) or block the nerve receptors in localized areas that carry pain signals to the brain. Whenever any of the body’s natural responses are inhibited, problems may occur.

Anesthesia errors rank among the more common issues that may arise during surgery. According to study data shared by The Journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, a medication error and/or an adverse drug event occurred once in every 20 observed perioperative administrations. The top five causes of these errors where:

  •          Drug labeling errors
  •          Incorrect dosages being administered
  •          Medications omitted
  •          Incorrect documentation
  •          Monitoring errors

The same study went on to list the possible factors that could increase the potential for an anesthetic error to be the number of medications used during a single procedure as well as the total time a procedure takes to complete. At the same time, no noticeable difference was observed in correlating errors to the type of provider involved, be it an attending anesthesiologist, an in-house anesthesiologist, or a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

Unfortunately, when it comes to anesthesia errors, the results are not often forgiving to patients and their families. The Journal of Healthcare Risk Management reported that the results of a separate study showed the frequent results of anesthesia errors to be death, arrest or nerve or organ damage. 

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