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How Common Are Anesthesia Errors?

How Common Are Anesthesia Errors?

While serious injuries due to anesthesia errors do occur occasionally, they are not as common as you might think. Most anesthetists are highly competent in their field and take great care and attention to detail in their work.

However, some outliers may not be as careful as they should, and patients can sustain harm as a result. Read on to learn more about the frequency of anesthesia errors.

The Rates of Anesthesia Errors

Minor injuries that heal on their own, such as a sore throat, are relatively common after a procedure that requires anesthesia. One in two patients (45%) suffers a sore throat after anesthesia involving a tracheal tube, which decreases to 20% when a laryngeal mask is utilized, and down to 10% when a face mask only is used.

While a sore throat is nothing to pursue a lawsuit over, there are other serious injuries that can result from anesthesia errors. Nearly all other severe injuries sustained as a result of anesthesia errors may warrant a lawsuit, but a sore throat does not.

The following list represents the incidence rates of some of the most common injuries patients sustain as a result of anesthesia errors:

  • Sore throat
    • Tracheal tube - 45%
    • Laryngeal mask - 20%
    • Face mask - 10%
  • Oral trauma
    • All oral trauma - 5%
    • All dental injury - 1%
    • Requiring intervention - 0.02%
  • Peripheral nerve injury (permanent and temporary)
    • General anesthesia - 0.4%
    • Spinal/epidural anesthesia - 0.03%
    • Nerve block - 0.02%
  • Awareness
    • Without muscle relaxants - 0.3%
    • With muscle relaxants - 0.03%
  • Ocular injury - 0.1%
  • Anaphylaxis - 0.01%
  • Death
    • All patients - 0.02%
    • ASA I and II - 0.001%
  • Blindness - 0.0008%

We Can Help Victims Injured Due to Medical Malpractice

As a patient, you have every right to expect you will be unharmed during a procedure that requires anesthesia. If you have sustained an serious injury as a result of medical negligence, you may be owed compensation for your damages as well as pain and suffering. Don’t delay—reach out to our office right away to learn more about how we can help you.

If a medical professional caused your injuries and you need help with a medical malpractice lawsuit, contact the skilled attorneys at Berthold Law Firm, PLLC with the details of your case by calling (304) 605-2040 or by filling out our online contact form.

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