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What are my chances of becoming a victim of an anesthesia error?

February 14, 2016

Anesthesiologists can make mistakes at times, which can unfortunately create dangerous situations for patients in Kentucky such as yourself. But exactly how common are these mistakes, and what are your chances of becoming a victim?

First, you should understand that any error in anesthesia is considered a medical mistake. This means it can include administering too much medication, giving the wrong medication, or not giving you enough.  When it comes to anesthesia in particular, many studies have been conducted all over the world in an attempt to pinpoint where the primary areas of mistakes are. The National Institutes of Health has collected these studies and put them together in a compilation of reported anesthesia mistakes.

A recent study surveyed 2266 Canadian anesthesiologists and 30 percent of them admitted to committing over one error during their tenure. In a Norwegian study of 55426 cases, it as shown that .11 percent of the cases involved a drug error. 3 cases were labeled as “serious”.

In New Zealand, a study revealed that a grand total of 89 percent of the anesthesiologists questioned had admitted to making drug administration errors. The neighboring Australia showed 144 cases out of 2000 to have the same issues.

One more study broke down the types of drug errors that were found in 27454 anesthesia procedures. Of the 233 errors that occurred, 23 percent were substitution error, 22 percent were omission error, and 25 percent were overdose. 6.2 percent were clerical errors that were not included in the study. While there are some commonalities shown in these studies, you should keep in mind that not every medical professional will admit their mistakes. You should therefore always be on the watch for signs that a medication error has been made.