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Anesthesia errors and serious injury to children

| May 13, 2015 | Anesthesia & Medication Errors

Any patient in Newton who needs to undergo a medical procedure that requires anesthesia should understand the dangers of serious injury from a potential mistake. This concern is exacerbated when it is a child who is placed under anesthesia. Research has shown that there is more reason to worry than simple parental concern over a child’s well being when anesthetized. The evidence has indicated that being placed under general anesthetic can lead to developmental impairment in babies and young children.

Because of this possibility, parents need to be vigilant as to whether or not the procedure is absolutely necessary, specifically when the child is three-years-old or younger. Data from the FDA shows that the number of children four-years-old and younger who require surgery is approximately one million annually. As of now, there has yet to be concrete proof that these younger children have been injured because of the anesthetic from the surgery. However, the research focused on young monkeys and different animals indicating that brain cells can be killed by common anesthetics. Behavioral issues and learning problems can also arise.

With fear of anesthesia negligence and anesthesia errors, parents will naturally be concerned about a child that is set to undergo a procedure in which it is needed. The new research is not definitive enough to tell parents not to allow their children to be placed under anesthetic at all, but a New England Journal of Medicine article says that there is increased concern about the dangers that children face from anasthesia. The problem is that there are not any suitable replacements for anesthesia to make the procedures safer, leading to the advice that if the procedure is not truly necessary, then perhaps it would be preferable to wait.

While this issue is still being studied, parents might not be aware that their child suffered serious injury from anesthesia. Parents whose children might have been harmed in any way need to be aware of what researchers have found and how it might relate to their child. Discussing the matter with a lawyer experienced in anesthesia errors can be helpful when considering litigation.

Source: New York Times, “Researchers Warn on Anesthesia, Unsure of Risk to Children,” Denise Grady, Accessed on May 10, 2015


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