“Gun Death” Anesthesia

I can’t believe this!

A Swedish man undergoing surgery died on the operating table after the anesthesiologist and a nurse went to lunch during the procedure, The Local reported.

The 72-year-old man was having a tumor removed at a hospital in Lidköping, Sweden, and had gone under anesthesia at 10:45 a.m. According to The Local, the head anesthesiologist then left at noon for lunch, followed by the head nurse anesthesiologist fifteen minutes later.

Now my experience with surgery is with rodents, which you simply don’t get the staff human surgery warrants. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to get a helper, but most often you’re going solo. One of the trickiest thing focusing on the job at hand AND taking a moment to make sure the anesthesia is doing what its supposed to do. Too light the animal could wake up, and possibly die, too heavy and they stop breathing.

Many people are surprised that the Anesthesiologist is actually the doctor in the OR that has the highest malpractice insurance, because independent of the perils of the operation, the anesthetics administered can be deadly if not properly monitored. When I first read the title I wondered if it was a more honest mistake, like the doctor finished the procedure, and had a nurse or tech suture up the incision, when something went wrong. Nope, the damn doctor who was monitoring the patients drug levels and vitals WENT TO DAMN LUNCH!!

And this is in a nation with socialized healthcare.

Hey, but no guns! No “gun death”! Just look the other way please!

h/t Wallphone

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6 Responses to “Gun Death” Anesthesia

  1. chiefjaybob says:

    Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?

  2. Geodkyt says:

    Yeah, I do historical educational presontations on 18th Century medicine, and I always emphacize just how freakin’ difficult it is to put a large primate down deep enough, and they wake him back up, neurologically intact, which is why pre-ether “anesthesia” consisted of “go really fast, and hopefully the patient passes out near the beginning.” You gotta “half kill” someone to put them under — and while achieving “mostly dead” is not that hard, keeping them “mostly dead” and not “all dead” is a really tough balancing act.

    You do not want to get operated on, especially in pre-transfusion, pre-antibiotics, pre-oxygen support days, with enough alcohol or opium in your system that it makes a tinker’s damn as a general anesthesia. You’ll likely die on the table, or shortly thereafter from blood loss, infection, or lack of air (either vomiting or respitory depression). Hell, in the early days of ether and chloroform, it can be plausibly said that anesthesia killed more patients than it saved (either directly from overdose, or indirectly because the surgeon took his time and you lost more blood and were exposed to filthy instruments and hands longer)!

    Which is why I am far less concerned with the credentials and stats on my surgeon than I am the anesthesiologist. Dr. Hackenslash the surgeon, in a modern OR, with modern life support and a nurse counting items going into my body (and later, counting all the stuff coming OUT, to make sure they didn’t leave something behind by mistake), can be counted on to do a pretty good job, because he basically has to make my insides match the picture in the book. In contrast, Dr. Feelgood the gaspasser has to juggle my vital signs, O2, and Happy Smoke to get the desired effect without turning my brain into anoxic grey goo.

  3. Bubblehead Les says:

    Well, your answer lies in the System itself, “Socialized Medicine.” I’m sure there’s a rule somewhere that he only had to work X Number of Hours before he HAD to take a Lunch Break, and the same with the Nurse.

    Got a Problem with that? Take it up with the Shop Steward.

  4. Archer says:

    Our son had to have a surgery to fix a pre-existing condition, and the procedure was cancelled – twice – because the anesthesiologist listened to his lungs and heard wheezing (she had a different term for it, but the layman’s term would be “wheezing”), and was worried about his breathing while under the effects of anesthesia. It was flu season, and he had asthma, so wheezing was a pretty constant thing at the time (not anymore, thank goodness!).

    While it was EXTREMELY annoying that we had to try so many times to get the procedure done (it was a very minor procedure to begin with), I truly appreciate the anesthesiologist’s concern and willingness to put the highest priority on our son’s health and safety.

  5. AZRon says:

    Gunnar care. Coming soon to YOUR local hospital. Under a different name maybe, but similar professionalism.

  6. Gomer says:

    Socialized Medicine?

    Sounds more like Sociopath Medicine, to me.

    Malicious doctors that screw up on purpose, just because they are bored, and want to hear the shrieks of the widow.

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