Surgery is different for everyone, and there is a chance that some people could be allergic to the drugs used during anesthesia. An allergic reaction during surgery and the administration of anesthesia can happen, but it’s extremely rare. It happens in approximately 1 of every 10,000 cases,
Anesthesiologists, as well as others working with you during surgery, should always be monitoring you for signs of anaphylaxis and allergies. On top of that, they should monitor you for nonallergic reactions and side effects that may appear as if they are.
Will you have long-term complications if you have anaphylaxis during surgery?
You should not. The long-term problems from anaphylaxis usually occur when a person becomes hypoxic and doesn’t get enough oxygen to their brain. Anesthesiologists who are doing their jobs correctly will recognize the signs and be able to respond quickly.
Symptoms they may look for include:
- Mild shortness of breath
- Swelling around the eyes, lips or face
- Itchy skin
- A reduction in blood pressure
As an allergy progresses into anaphylaxis, they may recognize symptoms such as:
- Severely low blood pressure
- Respiratory failure
- Cardiac arrest
- Severe shortness of breath because of the airways closing
Allergic reactions can be triggered by conscious sedation, epidural anesthesia, local anesthesia and general anesthesia, though they are most likely during general anesthesia. To help prevent problems, let your anesthesiologist know if you’re allergic to anything, including seasonal allergies and those that you may not think are related to medicine.
What should you do if you are injured because of an allergic reaction?
Depending on the circumstances, you may have a medical malpractice claim. For example, if the anesthesiologist uses a drug during sedation that you told them you were allergic to and had an allergy warning for, then they could be held accountable for making an error. On the other hand, if this is the first time you’ve had a reaction and the anesthesiologist responded quickly and as expected, then there may not be a claim to be made. This is something to discuss before you decide to make a malpractice claim.