Label Changes Highlight The Risks of Anesthesia Errors In Children
Anesthesia has greatly improved modern medicine and patient outcomes, but all medicines come with risks. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required updates to the labels for anesthesia medications to better reflect risks, particularly in children. The updated labeling highlights the importance of proper dosing for young patients.
The FDA recently required updates to anesthesia medication labeling and packaging because studies on both animals and human showed general anesthesia and other sedative drugs used for more than three hours on pregnant women or young children may be associated with developmental, learning, and/or behavioral disorders. The FDA advises doctors to “balance the benefits of appropriate anesthesia in young children and pregnant women against the potential risks, especially for procedures that may last longer than 3 hours or if multiple procedures are required in children under 3 years.” The labeling update will affect 11 of the most commonly used anesthesia medications, including propofol, ketamine, phenobarbital, and benzodiazepines.
The Dangers Of Medication Errors In Children
While medication errors are dangerous for all patients, children are particularly at risk for serious injuries or even death. Because children are much smaller, their bodies are not capable of processing the same amount of medication as adults. Medications for children are given in much smaller doses to protect them from experiencing serious side effects. Additionally, children’s bodies, and most importantly their brains, are still developing and are especially vulnerable to injuries of all kinds. Because of this, even a small medication dosage error could have deadly consequences for a young patient.
While the FDA’s new labeling requirements will help prevent debilitating injuries caused by anesthesia in young patients, unfortunately, there will still be young patients that suffer injuries from medication errors and anesthesia errors. When this occurs, patients and their families have a right to hold the responsible healthcare facility and healthcare professionals accountable.
Anesthesia Errors In Children
If your child suffered an anesthesia error, do not wait to call the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Lopez McHugh LLP. Our lawyers can pursue compensation to cover the cost of current and future medical expenses and hold the negligent parties responsible. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.