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Anesthesia errors occurring away from the operating room

It’s alarming to discover that deaths due to medical negligence are almost as common, if not more common, in non-operating room settings than in operating room settings. It may be even more disconcerting that many of the errors in question in non-operating room settings involve the administration of anesthesia.

There appears to be more instances where such administration of anesthesia occurs outside of the operating room. One professor anesthesiology and pain medicine described this situation as follows: “This is particular area of interest because we are outside of our home environment. What’s more, many of those procedural areas are dark, and don’t necessarily have the best equipment and monitors available.”

For a variety of reasons the kinds of injuries suffered in non-operating room settings involving anesthesia may be even more severe than ones occurring in the operating room. In any event, the payments for liability seem to be significantly higher overall (the median in non-OR claims being $554,000 vs. $285,000 involving the operating room).

One reason why such harm occurs during a non-operating setting is that trained individuals who understand how to respond when complications arise following administration of anesthesia may not be present. Another reason is that equipment, including advanced airway or monitoring devices, may not be available.

We need experienced medical malpractice attorneys to hold providers accountable when such errors occur. The consequences of errors in the administration of anesthesia can be extremely devastating. Such errors often result in the cutting off of oxygen to the brain resulting in permanent disability and brain damage. The cost is too high to allow for such mistakes to ever happen again.

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