Improper Use of Anesthesia: Past to Present

The medical field has come a long way. For example, if we take a trip through history to the nation’s first hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, one will find a historic operating theater. From 1804 to 1868, operations were performed there using only sunlight. During this time, before modern anesthesia, patients had one of three choices to reduce pain during surgery. The choices included partaking in opium, whiskey, or being hit over the head by a mallet to mask the pain of the surgical knife.

Fast forward 200 years, and modern medicine and operating standards have advanced significantly. Of course, this includes the practice of anesthesiology. However, even with the advancements in medicine and surgical practices, there are still risks involved.

Anesthesia Errors

When it comes to surgery, mistakes related to anesthesia can be even more dangerous than errors made during surgery. Such mistakes include the anesthesiologist failing to properly investicate the medical history of a patient for potential complications, or not informing a patient of the risks associated with the failure to follow preoperative instructions.

Additional anesthesia errors that occur during surgery may include:

  • Vital signs improperly monitored
  • Overdose of anesthesia
  • Improper placement of breathing tube in trachea
  • Use of defective or non-sterile equipment
  • “Waking anesthesia” (conscious while under anesthesia)

Any of the above errors could lead to a viable medical malpractice case. If you or a loved one have experienced the improper use of anesthesia during surgery, it is critical to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to review your situation and to navigate the complex rules associated with medical malpractice cases. Contact the medical malpractice law offices of Brownstein & Nguyen today for a free consultation.