What parents need to know about anesthesia errors

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2017 | Medical Malpractice

Anesthesia, used routinely when patients need to be calm or asleep during an operation or medical treatment, helps block pain and motion. While it’s common to use anesthesia before your child goes into surgery, there are some things that can affect the way it works. Here are a few quick facts that you should know about anesthesia.

1. If your child smokes, it can affect how the anesthetics work

Smokers often need additional anesthetics, according to data collected by anesthesiologists. Since smokers have irritated airways, it may be that they need additional pain relieving medications to help their airways deal with breathing tubes used during surgery. It’s been shown that those who are around smoke, secondhand smoke, require around 20 percent more anesthetics. Talk to your anesthesiologist if you smoke in your home around your child, so he or she can adjust for this concern.

2. Weight can increase the risk of complications

Yes, being overweight can make it harder to get the right amount of anesthesia into your system. The American Society of Anesthesiologists have stated that extra weight on the body interferes with a patient’s ability to breathe once anesthesia is administered. If you want to avoid some of these complications, talk to your doctor about potentially losing weight before your operation. You can still receive anesthesia, and with the right training, your provider should be able to dose you accurately or adjust as the surgery continues.

3. Patients can suffer from memory loss after surgery

There’s a reason why most patients should come to the hospital with someone else who can drive him or her home. After surgery, the patient isn’t likely to be in pain or to struggle with talking to others, but he or she may have little to no memory of what’s happening.

General anesthesia’s role is to keep you out of pain and to cause memory loss, so you wouldn’t remember if you woke up during a procedure. The side effect is that even after you wake up, you may not remember talking to someone or receiving directions on how to care for yourself. That’s why it’s very important to always stay with your child and to receive discharge instructions from the doctor directly. Your child, even if he or she is an adult, is unlikely to remember any conversations within a short time after surgery.

When it comes to your child’s surgery, it’s important that the anesthesiologist gets it right. Giving too much medicine could result in complications, while giving too little can lead to waking up during surgery or suffering from pain. If your child suffers as a result of improper dosing, you have a right to look into claiming for medical malpractice.


FindLaw Network