Anesthesia Malpractice: What Are Some Common Mistakes?


Anesthesia is truly a marvel of modern medicine.  Even before modern medicine, its value during surgical and dental procedures was unprecedented.  General anesthesia is used in countless procedures so that patients can have corrective surgery in an unconscious or semi conscious state; it blocks pain and prevents the patient from remembering the event.

Experienced medical malpractice attorneys practicing law in the Hudson Valley regions of New York value anesthesia, as well as the competent and skilled doctors, nurses, and assistants who administer anesthesia to patients.  At the same time, however, these attorneys know that many anesthesia errors could have and should have been prevented.

Patients injured by the negligent acts of anesthesiologists and any other medical professionals deserve to be compensated for their damages.

Here is a list of common causes tied directly to anesthesia medical malpractice:

  • Poorly trained anesthesiology staff
  • Failure to obtain an adequate patient history
  • Failure to review patient history and charts prior to administering anesthesia
  • Inadequate communication between medical staff and between medical professionals and the patient
  • Administering an improper dosage; too little, or too much
  • Medical professional failure to recognize complications or patient signs of distress
  • Loss of attention in general
  • Failure to administer and monitor the delivery of oxygen to the patient
  • Failure to monitor blood oxygen levels
  • Leaving the patient sedated for too long
  • Inadequate, improper, and or defective equipment
  • Intubation errors
  • Miscalculating the timing of anesthesia delivery
  • Medical professionals performing the anesthesia delivery when overtired and sleepy
  • Drug or alcohol impairment on the part of the anesthesiologist

This list may be alarming to some readers.  But the fact remains that they have in fact occurred in the past.

What happens when an anesthesia related medical error occurs?

In the most severe cases, the patient will die.  Some lucky patients will survive without injury.  But the reality is that any number of complications can arise.  The patient may slip into a coma or suffer irreparable brain damage.  There can be a temporary or permanent loss of one’s ability to hear, see, walk, and use ones upper extremities.   The trachea can be damaged; cut and or infected.  Even birth defects are known to be caused by improper and negligent administration of anesthesia.  Patients have also been known to suffer from PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at