Most of the time, when someone in Kansas City is having surgery, they get general anesthesia to make it through the procedure without pain. General anesthesia allows for considerable latitude when it comes to surgery, but patients must also be closely monitored while under the effects. A failure to monitor patients can lead to serious injuries or death. It often falls to the hospital to put rules in place, and then enforce those rules, in order to prevent anesthesia errors.
Unfortunately, one woman found herself under the care of an anesthesiologist who admits to using his iPad and other devices during surgical procedures. It is believed that on the day of her surgery, he had been using his iPad or a cellphone instead of paying sufficient attention to her condition. If true, that failure to monitor may have cost the woman her life.
While this tragic death did not happen in Kansas City, it is easily something that could have. It is not entirely clear if the hospital at which the surgery took place had any rules against anesthesiologists using personal technology devices during procedures or if the physician was in accordance with his hospital’s regulations. This is an issue that may arise as part of the medical malpractice lawsuit filed by the woman’s family.
The surgeon who was operating on the woman that day has testified in depositions that he believed the anesthesiologist was clearly distracted during the procedure. He also thinks that the anesthesiologist may have entered incorrect vital signs data for the operation, as well. If true, that would seem to be even more of an indicator that the anesthesiologist may have been negligent during the operation.
Source: Dallas Observer, “Dallas Anesthesiologist Being Sued Over Deadly Surgery Admits to Texting, Reading iPad During Procedures,” Eric Nicholson, April 1, 2014