Tag Archives: Surgery

Are Anesthesiologists Required to Supervise Surgeries?

General anesthesia is necessary for most complex operations. Anesthesiologists are highly trained doctors tasked with administering patients with anesthetics. It may surprise you to learn that anesthesiologists are not always present while operations are underway. In some cases, patients have been harmed by anesthesia errors due to lack of supervision. Nurse anesthetists sometimes observe patients during surgery. These specialists may be highly trained, but they do not undergo the same educational and professional rigors as anesthesiologists. How Are Patients Affected by Anesthesia Errors? Last year, the Houston Press published a story involving a female patient who died during a lap band surgery. The anesthesiologist in charge of the operation administered the anesthetic propofol (the same drug that killed Michael Jackson), but then left the room. A nurse anesthetist remained behind to handle any problems that might arise. Within minutes of starting the operation, the patient was no longer breathing. The…
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Medical Mistakes You Won’t Believe: An Organ Transplant Gone Wrong

Organ transplants are used to give dying patients a second chance at life. However, sometimes the unthinkable occurs and transplant errors take lives. A transplant error in 2003 gained national attention and led to changes on how these surgeries are conducted. In 2003, Duke University admitted that it used the incorrect organs during a heart and lung transplant surgery. The 17-year-old recipient sought treatment in the United States for a fatal heart condition. Doctors accidently transplanted her with organs from a donor of the wrong blood type. She had type O blood, but received organs from a type A donor. After the mistake was spotted by doctors, they attempted a second transplant. It was too late to correct the mistake, and the teenager passed away. Donor organs must match the blood type of recipients. When blood types do not match, tissue and organ rejection can kill patients. This is also…
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What Can Happen to Patients When Surgeons Remove the Wrong Body Part?

Wrong-site surgeries can involve surgeons who remove the wrong body part. A story published by the Los Angeles Times provides a perfect example of how removing the wrong body part can haunt patients for the rest of their lives. In 2006, a 47-year-old Air Force veteran and married father of four was scheduled at West Los Angeles VA Medical Center to have a testicle removed. The veteran had survived testicular cancer almost two decades prior, and fought off the illness with chemotherapy. However, cancer treatments left one of his testicles with little function. Seventeen years after beating cancer, doctors told the veteran that his testicle could become cancerous again if it was not removed. Instead of removing the potentially cancerous left testicle, doctors removed the healthy right one. This left the veteran with only his nonfunctional left testicle. As a result, the veteran was deprived of testosterone, which put him at…
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