Ref. # 57238

An Ohio woman suffered from stress urinary incontinence, uterine prolapse, cystocele and rectocele. In a single surgical procedure, she underwent a vaginal hysterectomy, anterior and posterior colporrhaphy, pereyra procedure, and suprapubic catheter placement. Shortly after surgery, the patient complained of shoulder pain, which radiated into the deltoid region, as well as numbness in her hand. She subsequently required an arthroscopic subacromial decompression of the left shoulder. A medQuest anesthesiologist reported that the patient's chronic/recurrent impingement syndrome at the C5-C6 region was likely due to prolonged hyperextension. This was an unexpected result of the initial surgery, indicating negligence. The patient had no history of shoulder pain and the operative notes documented the development of same, indicating causation as well.

Ref. # 63219

A 40 year old Michigan man presented to the OR for repair of an open fracture of the left distal radius. During a 17-minute period, ten attempts at intubation and three cricothyroidotomies were unsuccessful. An ER physician was called to intubate the patient, who had already suffered brain damage due to hypoxia and then subsequently expired. A medQuest anesthesiologist reported that, according to nursing notes, after five intubation attempts there was slight air exchange with a bag and mask. Standard of care required allowing the patient to awaken and breathe on his own. The attending anesthesiologist negligently continued his intubation technique, while using 20 mg of Tracrium, a long-acting muscle relaxant. A regional axillary block or intrasaline block would have been more appropriate. Had the cricothyroidotomies been performed correctly, an airway would have been established. The patient's death was entirely avoidable.

Ref. # 91397

A Vermont man was admitted to the hospital with a transient ischemic attack. Five days later he underwent a carotid endarterectomy. Pre-op and post-op medication included Cefazolian. Fifteen hours after surgery the patient experienced dyspnea, which rapidly progressed to an acute airway obstruction secondary to tongue swelling. The patient was allergic to penicillin and bee stings according to hospital records. The hypoxic ischemia lasted approximately 10 minutes as Nursing double-paged Anesthesia. The patient was finally intubated but never regained consciousness and died one month later. A medQuest anesthesiologist reported there was a negligent failure to consider or establish the surgical airway. With timely intubation the patient would have survived.

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