Common Anesthesia Errors And How To Avoid Them

Each year, around 40 million people are sedated by anesthesia for a surgical procedure. Since patients do not wake up under the drug, it helps to remove the pain typically associated with many surgeries. Thus, it is considered to be one of the greatest modern medical achievements. However, like any great invention, it’s not without its flaws. Anesthesia errors do happen, and can certainly be deadly.

Common Anesthesia Errors

Each year, 251,000 people in the United States die due to medical errors. This makes it the fourth most common cause of death. An anesthesia death is classified as an Advert Drug Event (ADE), which makes up 5.3% of these medical deaths. The five most common anesthesia related errors included the following:

  • Medication Dosing Errors. This is a problem frequently associated with many powerful medicines being administered in hospitals, often anesthesia. If someone is given more of this drug than they can handle, it can cause severe brain damage and even death. These errors are usually realized around halfway through the procedure, often when it is too late.
  • Administration Of Residual Anesthetics. Most traditional stopcocks have some empty space in them that increases the risk of delivering anesthetic drugs accidentally. This occurs when the device is flushed and built-up residue enters the patients veins. Unfortunately, this can cause serious medical complications and is often underreported, especially amongst children.
  • Ineffective Management After Operation. Hospitals have gotten good at