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Patients May Be Harmed When An Anesthesiologist Fails To Monitor

On Behalf of | May 24, 2016 | Medical Malpractice

When patients undergo surgery, many medical professionals are involved, including nurses, doctors, and anesthesiologists. While it is possible for an error to occur at any level and at any step along the way due to a healthcare professional’s negligence, this article will discuss negligence on the part of an anesthesiologist.

Unfortunately, there are many things that can go wrong when anesthesia is involved, including an allergic reaction, respiratory issues, oxygen deprivation, and much more. This is why it is critical that anesthesiologists monitor their patients very carefully. However, sometimes anesthesiologists fail to monitor patients for the following reasons:

  • Distraction. With the onset of technology, many people in the healthcare industry wear smartwatches that allow them to access their emails, texts, social media accounts and much more. Sadly, accessing this information while monitoring a patient may cause an anesthesiologist to be distracted and fail to catch problems.
  • Equipment problems. During surgery, patients are hooked up to equipment to monitor their vitals. In fact, anesthesiologists rely on many devices to monitor their patients. Unfortunately, sometimes equipment malfunctions and anesthesiologists may be unaware of it because they aren’t paying close attention. Even if there are equipment problems, anesthesiologists should be able to spot signs of trouble by personally monitoring their patients.
  • Missed alarms. Anesthesiologists use monitors and infusion pumps that require audible alarms to alert them of a concern. Because alarms are constantly going off in hospitals, many medical professionals have what is called “alarm fatigue”—causing them to miss hearing alarms because they are desensitized to them. Whether an anesthesiologist fails to notice an alarm or silences an alarm altogether, it can delay life-saving medical care—possibly leading to anaphylactic shock, brain damage, or even death of a patient.

In any situation where a patient suffers serious injuries as a result of an anesthesiologist’s failure to monitor, it is likely that a medical malpractice claim is warranted. In order to have a valid case, you will need a lawyer to help prove that a reasonable healthcare provider would have performed differently in that situation and would have kept better track of the patient’s health. For help holding the negligent anesthesiologist accountable, please contact our office for a free consultation today.