When a person in Boston needs to be given anesthetic for a procedure large or small, it’s unavoidable that there will be a certain amount of trepidation as to what can happen. While most doctors and anesthesiologists are conscientious and pay close attention to what they’re doing, an anesthesia error can happen at any time and cause serious injury and even death. Although there are improvements being made at caring for patients who are under anesthesia, one negligent physician or staffer can make a mistake leading to severe damage.

According to new research, the number of complications from anesthesia has been dropping steadily. From the years 2010 to 2013, in which there were more than 3.2 million people who were placed under anesthesia, the percentage of complications reduced by 7 percentage points from 11.8 to 4.8. Thirty-six percent had a minor complication such as nausea. Twelve percent were affected by anesthesia errors. Although the complication rate has declined, the number of deaths remained the same with three people dying for every 10,000 instances in which anesthesia was used.

A person being placed under anesthetic is not something to be taken lightly. The slightest mistake can cause serious injury or fatality. This can happen for a number of reasons and have numerous consequences. If there is a spinal anesthesia given improperly, there can be paralysis. There might be a reaction to the anesthetic causing severe complications. Overdoses or anesthetic given to a woman during labor can also cause serious issues. The patient must be watched closely when placed under anesthetic.

This study indicates that the number of incidences of anesthesia complications is declining. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t happen. The number of deaths has remained static. If there is a belief that anesthesia negligence caused the serious injury or death of a loved one, it’s important to speak to a medical malpractice attorney qualified to deal with anesthesia errors.

Source: U.S. News and World Report, “Anesthesia complications drop by half, study finds,” Robert Preidt, Oct. 12, 2014