Skip to Main Content

++

  • Image not available. The rate of anesthetic complications will never be zero. All anesthesia practitioners, irrespective of their experience, abilities, diligence, and best intentions, will participate in anesthetics that are associated with patient injury.
  • Image not available. Malpractice occurs when four requirements have been met: (1) the practitioner must have a duty to the patient; (2) there must have been a breach of duty (deviation from the standard of care); (3) the patient (plaintiff) must have suffered an injury; and (4) the proximate cause of the injury must have been the practitioner’s deviation from the standard of care.
  • Image not available. Anesthetic mishaps can be categorized as preventable or unpreventable. Of the preventable incidents, most involve human error, as opposed to equipment malfunctions.
  • Image not available. The relative decrease in death attributed to respiratory rather than cardiovascular damaging events has been attributed to the increased use of pulse oximetry and capnometry.
  • Image not available. Many anesthetic fatalities occur only after a series of coincidental circumstances, misjudgments, and technical errors coincide (mishap chain).
  • Image not available. Despite differing mechanisms, anaphylactic and anaphylactoid reactions are typically clinically indistinguishable and equally life-threatening.
  • Image not available. True anaphylaxis due to anesthetic agents is rare; anaphylactoid reactions are much more common. Muscle relaxants are the most common cause of anaphylaxis during anesthesia.
  • Image not available. Patients with spina bifida, spinal cord injury, and congenital abnormalities of the genitourinary tract have a very increased incidence of latex allergy. The incidence of latex anaphylaxis in children is estimated to be 1 in 10,000.
  • Image not available. Although there is no clear evidence that exposure to trace amounts of anesthetic agents presents a health hazard to operating room personnel, the United States Occupational Health and Safety Administration continues to set maximum acceptable trace concentrations of less than 25 ppm for nitrous oxide and 0.5 ppm for halogenated anesthetics (2 ppm if the halogenated agent is used alone).
  • Image not available. Hollow (hypodermic) needles pose a greater risk than do solid (surgical) needles because of the potentially larger inoculum. The use of gloves, needleless systems, or protected needle devices may decrease the incidence of some (but not all) types of injury.
  • Image not available. Anesthesiology is a high-risk medical specialty for substance abuse.
  • Image not available. The three most important methods of minimizing radiation doses are limiting total exposure time during procedures, using proper barriers, and maximizing one’s distance from the source of radiation.

++

Image not available. The rate of anesthetic complications will never be zero. All anesthesia practitioners, irrespective of their experience, abilities, diligence, and best intentions, will participate in anesthetics that are associated with patient injury. Moreover, unexpected adverse perioperative outcomes can lead to litigation, even if those outcomes did not directly arise from anesthetic mismanagement. This chapter reviews management approaches to complications secondary to anesthesia and discusses medical malpractice and legal issues from an American (USA) perspective. Readers based in other countries may not find this section to be as relevant to their practices.

++

All anesthesia practitioners will have patients with adverse outcomes, and in the USA most anesthesiologists will at some point in their career be involved to one degree or another in malpractice litigation. ...

Want remote access to your institution's subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on this site via your institution (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen - if you see your institution's name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution's subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.

Ok

About MyAccess

If your institution subscribes to this resource, and you don't have a MyAccess profile, please contact your library's reference desk for information on how to gain access to this resource from off-campus.

Subscription Options

AccessAnesthesiology Full Site: One-Year Subscription

Connect to the full suite of AccessAnesthesiology content and resources including procedural videos, interactive self-assessment, real-life cases, 20+ textbooks, and more

$995 USD
Buy Now

Pay Per View: Timed Access to all of AccessAnesthesiology

24 Hour Subscription $34.95

Buy Now

48 Hour Subscription $54.95

Buy Now

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.