Anaesthesia errors and compensation claims
Anaesthetics are drugs used during medical procedures to put people to sleep, cause a loss of sensation and/or relieve pain. There are several types of anaesthesia that anaesthetics can be used, and these may be used in combination for some procedures.
Anaesthetists are responsible for administering and managing the anaesthetics during the procedure – including monitoring critical bodily functions. They are also consulted beforehand to ensure that the correct approach is taken based on the procedure and medical condition/history of the patient.
Mistakes and errors when using anaesthetics
This is a specialised area of medicine and requires skilled medical professionals to ensure that anaesthesia is carried out and managed safely. However, there are risks and these can have significant consequences.
Some of the errors in anaesthesia include:
Not assessing the patient thoroughly before an operation, leads to either incorrect doses or inappropriate drugs being used
Causing damage while injecting the drug, leading to pain nerve damage or paralysis
Failure to properly monitor a patient's condition during and after anaesthesia. Changes in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen flow from anaesthetics put some patients at risk of strokes and heart problems.
Medical negligence claims with anaesthesia
Not all mistakes in the administration of anaesthesia are the result of medical negligence.
To prove that negligence has occurred, there has to be evidence that shows:
that the error causes harm or injury; AND
it must be agreed that a similarly trained professional would not have made the same error.
You may be entitled to claim compensation. Start the process with our simple and free online tool.
What we will ask:
Question to help us understand your experience and how your life has been impacted. Your responses will help us define the best course of action for your claim.
What happens next:
Either book a no obligation appointment with a medical negligence legal expert right away or,
Speak with our team about your options
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Without the right legal advice and support, you then may not receive the compensation you're entitled to.
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What is anaesthetic?
Anaesthetics are substances that temporarily reduce or take away pain and sensation. Often so that surgery or procedures that would otherwise be painful can be carried out.
There are two types of anaesthetics that medical practitioners use;
General, which makes someone unconscious
Local, which numbs specific areas of the body
What are the types of anaesthesia?
Anaesthesia can be roughly divided into four different categories:
Local anaesthesia – a local anaesthetic injected into the tissue below the skin, usually used for minor surgeries (during which the person is awake).
Regional anaesthesia – a local anaesthetic injected around nerve bundles to numb sensations in a larger area, such as the thigh or forearm. Epidurals are an example of regional anaesthesia.
Sedation – aims to relax the patient, making them sleepy and relaxed during a procedure. People often remember little of the experience afterwards.
General anaesthesia – Used for major surgeries/operations when a person needs to be unconscious. Requires an anaesthetist to monitor their condition while they’re ‘under’.
Are there common mistakes in anaesthesia?
Anaesthetists are specialist medical professionals and thousands of patients are given anaesthetics across Australia every day. Mistakes are rare; however, they do occur.
Some of the errors in anaesthesia include:
Not assessing the patient thoroughly before an operation, leads to incorrect doses or inappropriate drugs being used.
Causing damage while injecting the drug, leading to pain, nerve damage or paralysis
Failure to properly monitor a patient’s condition during and after anaesthesia. Changes in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen flow from anaesthetics put some patients at risk of strokes and heart problems.
What your anaesthetist needs to know
Prior to surgery, it is crucial that your anaesthetist has a clear understanding of your medical history, current medication, fitness and lifestyle. Some of this key information includes:
Reactions to anaesthetics in the past
Current prescription drugs
Smoking and drinking
Use of illicit substances
Recommendations from related specialists