Anesthesiologists’ Failure to Monitor Patient, Cell Phone Use Prompts $250,000 Verdict

March 20, 2015 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​In a malpractice lawsuit concerning a patient who died during outpatient dental surgery, a California jury awarded the plaintiff $250,000 and two providers faced disciplinary action by the state medical and dental boards, according to an article published February 25, 2015, in the Orange County Register. The 57-year-old patient went into cardiac arrest when she underwent an outpatient procedure to replace dental implants. According to the medical board, the dentPist who performed the surgery allegedly delayed calling 911, and the anesthesiologist responsible for monitoring the patient allegedly interfered with paramedics attempting to resuscitate the patient. The patient did not regain consciousness and died four days later. The state dental board said that the anesthesiologist administered propofol and ketamine despite the fact that he did not have a permit to administer anesthesia in a dental office. The state medical board said that the anesthesiologist failed to use equipment to monitor the patient even though she was "predisposed to respiratory compromise, respiratory distress and respiratory obstruction due to the synergistic effect of the drugs that he administered."

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