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Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia is one of the fundamental components of any medical procedure. There is great risk involved when administering anesthesia, but it a risk that generally has to be taken in order for certain medical procedures to be conducted successfully, and so that you do not feel any pain throughout.

What Are Anesthesia Errors?

Anesthesia errors are a form of medical malpractice which is due to medical negligence. It occurs when an anesthesiologist, or another medical practitioner, fails to administer, or incorrectly administers, anesthesia during your medical procedure. These errors can result in injury, disability, and even death.

What Causes Anesthesia Errors?

Anesthesia errors occur when doctors:

  • Administer too much or too little anesthesia
  • Delay the administration of anesthesia
  • Fail to recognize and/or prevent adverse drug reactions caused by the anesthesia
  • Administer the wrong type of anesthesia
  • Fail to determine if you are allergic to any specific anesthesia medications and/or accidentally administer anesthesia medications which you are allergic to
  • Fail to adequately instruct you on what you can and can’t do before administering the anesthesia
  • Fail to adequately monitor you while you are under the effects of anesthesia
  • Fail to adequately position you during the medical procedure so that your blood pressure and circulation is not compromised
  • Use defective or outdated equipment

What Are The Complications of Anesthesia Errors?

Complications of anesthesia errors are very broad and can range from minor to severe/ The severity of the complication is dependent on the mistake, or series of mistakes, that a doctor has made during your medical procedure. Such complications include: 

  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Arrhythmia
  • Cardiovascular collapse
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Damage to vital organs
  • Brain damage due to hypoxia (inadequate oxygen supply to the brain)
  • Paralysis (from spinal cord injury)
  • Coma
  • Death

Unintended Intraoperative Awareness

A very rare, but well-known complication of anesthesia is unintended intraoperative awareness. This occurs in rare cases whereby you experience a state of unintentional awareness during a medical procedure. This means that you are conscious and can feel pain, but you are unable to signal this to your doctor because of the effects of the muscle relaxants given alongside the anesthesia.

Because cases are so rare, it is not yet clear why unintended intraoperative awareness occurs, and so it is not technically classified as an anesthesia error.

Legal Matters

As with all medical malpractice cases, it is essential that you contact a medical malpractice lawyer if you are going to embark on a medical malpractice lawsuit. Only an NYC lawyer, who is familiar with the laws specific to the state, can review your documentation and records in order to determine whether you have a viable case or not.

Should you have a viable case, your medical malpractice lawyer will then initiate the process to start a lawsuit on your behalf and guide you through the entire process.


If you believe that you or a family member may have experienced complications due to an anesthesia error, please contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Rosenburg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff LLP in NYC today and speak to one of our medical malpractice attorneys.


When you are ready to talk, we are ready to listen. Call 212-344-1000 for a free, confidential consultation.


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Aisha Neri
Aisha Neri
20:29 18 May 23
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17:14 17 May 23
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17:42 12 May 23
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