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Surgical errors: The risk of anesthesia

When undertaking an operation, the patient is administered anesthetic to block the pain of the operation and to send the patient to sleep. When a healthy patient goes for an operation and is given anesthetic from an experienced and competent surgeon, there is a very low risk that anything will go wrong -- one in 100,000 healthy people are expected to die as a result of anesthesia in a planned operation. Even more rare is the extremely acute risk of brain damage as a result of having anesthesia administered.

Problems that can occur

Fatalities because of the use of anesthesia can be fatal, however. This can be because an allergic reaction occurs due to the medications administered alongside the anesthetic. There can also be other complications that can occur. One example is when it becomes difficult to successfully put in the breathing tube in after the patient has been put to sleep. Major organs can also experience a reduced blood supply as a result of the anesthesia, which can be fatal.

An anesthetist is trained to be able to spot any complications that might occur when it comes to the anesthesia. For example, they should be able to foresee that putting in the breathing tube might be difficult on a particular patient. Therefore, when things do go wrong in regard to anesthesia, it may be due to the anesthetist's negligence.

If you have concerns about the competence of surgeons and would like to raise them, an attorney can help.

Source: Patient, "The risk of anesthesia," accessed Oct. 06, 2017

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