Errors in Anaesthesia 2016-10-20T14:21:28+00:00

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Errors in Anaesthesia

Helping people affected by NHS Negligence. Call us today for free impartial advice.

The process of putting a patient under anaesthetic and safely keeping him or her there is complex and risky and an anaesthetist’s training is every bit as rigorous as that of the surgeon performing the operation. Unfortunately, mistakes and negligence can happen at all of the main stages of anaesthetic administration, sometimes with tragic consequences.

Negligent Anaesthesia Preparation

Critical to the successful application of an anaesthetic is its preparation, ensuring that the correct levels of anaesthetic are applied to keep the patient pain-free throughout the operation without overdosing. Too much anaesthetic can lead to damage to vital organs and, in some cases, the death of the patient.

It is also essential that an anaesthetist properly consults the patient’s medical records to ensure that the type and amount of an anaesthetic is appropriate. Factors to take into consideration include age, weight, allergies, the length of time since the patient’s last meal, existing medications and anything the patient may have taken shortly before an operation. Given the additional risks involved, it is also important to evaluate whether a general anaesthetic is essential or whether a local anaesthetic could be used instead.

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Failure to Monitor Anaesthetic Performance

Even when the preparation and application of an anaesthetic is handled correctly, its effects on the patient can still be unpredictable. It is critically important that the reaction of the patient is monitored intensively at all stages of the process – induction, maintenance and emergence – for signs of distress.

This is done through a variety of devices which measure heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, temperature and the levels of anaesthetic agent in the patient’s bloodstream. Monitoring of the patient after emerging from anaesthetic is also very important. The failure to monitor or respond to these key indicators can have serious consequences and is one of the major causes of death and serious injury in the operating theatre. It frequently gives rise to medical negligence claims. Read more>> how to sue for medical negligence

Can I sue the NHS?

Before making a claim it is worth taking note of the following point.

Check that your medical issues are grounds for negligence, and not a simple complaint procedure. Complaints about procedure dissatisfaction, or seeking an apology / admission for lack of care / treatment should go to PALS. Read more about suing the nhs.

When you might have a claim

Injury, continuous pain or loss due to the act of a practitioner or general lack of care at the NHS is an entirely different matter. You might very well have a claim. The duty of care might have been breached meaning the health care professional/s did not provide the expected level of care. If you believe you deserve compensation you may have a medical negligence claim. Read more about how to claim against the NHS here.