What is the Difference Between Anesthesia Errors and Adverse Reactions?

At The Gogel Law Firm, our St. Louis medical malpractice attorney knows that most surgical procedures require the use of general, regional, or local anesthesia. The decision on which type of anesthesia is used depends on the individual, the part of the body that is being operated on, and what the surgery is designed to accomplish.

In most cases, the anesthesia comes with certain side effects that can cause an adverse reaction to the person who has been anesthetized. These potential reactions should be explained to each patient before the procedure, so they can give their informed consent for its use — and so they can identify any potential reactions that require follow-up medical care.

In some cases, damaging and even life-threatening side effects can be caused by an anesthesia error, which is much different than potential adverse reactions that have been recorded as part of its use.

What are the Different Types of Anesthesia Used During Medical Procedures?

AnesthesiaDepending on the patient’s medical history, and the type of procedure they are undergoing, there are three types of anesthesia used during the process.

They include:

  • Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia numbs a specific part of the body, so the procedure can take place without the patient feeling pain in the area.

  • Regional Anesthesia

Regional anesthesia is used for large sections of the body, common in limb surgeries and childbirth or limb surgery.

  • General Anesthesia

General anesthesia renders the patient unconscious until the surgery is complete.

What are the Most Common Types of Anesthesia Errors?

Anesthetic medicine requires professional providers to administer the medication in precise doses to ensure the individual is numb, or unconscious for the duration of the procedure.

Common types of anesthesia errors may include, but are not limited to:

  • Administering anesthesia to a patient with allergies.
  • Administering the wrong anesthesia drug.
  • Administering too high of a dose.
  • Administering too little of a dose.
  • Delayed delivery of anesthesia.
  • Failing to administer oxygen or properly monitor the patient.
  • Failing to provide the patient with proper instructions, such as limiting liquid and food intake.
  • Failing to prevent drug interactions with prescription medications.
  • Using defective medical equipment and devices during anesthetic administration.

What are the Most Common Types of Anesthesia Side Effects and Errors

Anesthetics inherently come with side effects, no matter which type is used. These side effects or reactions are very different from anesthesia errors and are often only temporary.

Some of the most common types of side effects include:

  • Back Pain.
  • Chills or Shivering.
  • Administering too high of a dose.
  • Administering too little of a dose.
  • Delayed delivery of anesthesia.
  • Muscle Soreness.
  • Nausea and Vomiting.
  • Sore Throat.
  • Trouble Urinating.

Medical complications that may indicate an anesthesia error occurred include:

  • Birth defects.
  • Blood pressure complications.
  • Cardiovascular collapse.
  • Confusion or memory loss lasting more than a day.
  • Heart function problems.
  • Inadequate oxygen supply or asphyxia.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Malignant hyperthermia.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Nerve, vein, or artery damage.
  • Organ or brain damage.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Pneumothorax, also called collapsed lung.
  • Seizures.
  • Spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis.
  • Stroke or seizures.
  • Urinary problems.
  • Coma and death.

Administering anesthesia is a multistep process that is complex and precise, which requires adequate monitoring of the patient while it is in use. Various factors can lead to anesthesia errors, but certain errors are considered medical malpractice in Missouri.

Contact Our St. Louis Medical Malpractice Attorney and Get an Initial Free Consultation

If you or someone you love has suffered significant medical problems as a result of an anesthesia error, contact our St. Louis medical malpractice attorney today to review your case by calling (314) 370-8173 or online to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights and options to pursue the liable party for your full financial recovery needs.

Need legal help? Give us a call.


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St. Louis, MO 63141

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