Anesthesia Errors Medication error in anaesthesia and critical care.

Nearly 40 million anesthesia procedures are conducted each year in the USA. The ability to administer anesthesia is one of the great achievements of modern medicine. However, as with any medical process, there is always potential for error.

251,000 people in the USA die annually due to medical errors, making medical errors the 4th most common cause of death in 2013, after cancer and heart disease. Medical errors are divided into medication errors, Advert Drug Events (ADEs), near misses, slips and lapses, according to severity. There are 1.5 million ADEs each year in the US according to the IOM [4]. 5.3% of (ADEs), an event in which a patient is harmed or injured due to interventional drugs, are found in pre-operation settings.

Errors with documentation of anesthesia are one of the more common mistakes made in hospitals. However, documentation errors tend to cause more issues with billing than they do for the safety of the patient.

Common documentation errors include:

  • Completing the Surgical Procedure(s) section of a patient’s anesthesia record before the surgery is finished
  • Unclear documentation stating  the primary purpose of postoperative pain management
  • Surgeon’s documentation of request for postoperative pain management