Patient dies as result of anesthesia application

A Pennsylvania man with a history of heart disease was administered general anesthesia during cataract surgery and subsequently died. The eye doctor performing the surgery has now been sued for medical malpractice as a result of the man’s death.

The allegations of the complaint suggest that the patient was a poor candidate for receiving this kind of anesthesia. It is also asserted that he was given too much anesthesia to begin with, and this resulted in the patient at first convulsing and suffering a severe loss of blood pressure. Eventually, the patient died of brain damage.

It will be up to the courts to decide whether malpractice actually did occur. However, attorneys for the family will likely argue that many red flags are raised when a patient dies while undergoing a common procedure like cataract surgery.

The dangers of using anesthesia are well known among the medical profession. The application of anesthesia requires just enough to allow the patient to endure the surgery, and not too much that can cause severe injury or death. Even when patients survive an incorrect dosage of anesthesia, the brain damage suffered is often life altering and can result in incapacitation of a patient for the remainder of his or her life.

Physicians that do not feel qualified in administering the anesthesia simply should not be applying in during any procedure. Mistakes can lead to the result mentioned above. And because such administrations are so common, the utmost care must be taken to make sure it is done right.

Source: Times Leader, “Doctors sued over eye patient’s death,” by Terrie Morgan-Besecker, Nov. 13, 2012