Operating Room Horror Stories: When Anesthesiologists Leave the Room During Surgery

It has been said that an anesthesiologist’s job is 99 percent boredom and 1 percent terror, meaning that most of the time, things go smoothly, but when they don’t, they can go horribly wrong. If you’ve ever gone under anesthesia, you probably experienced the same scenario that most patients do. Before the surgery, you talk to the anesthesiologist and right as you go under, he asks you to recite the alphabet or count. As you wake up, the anesthesiologist is there, making sure you come out of your coma-like state, and may even check on you later in the day. Did you know, however, that the person responsible for putting you under and waking you up probably leaves the room during your surgery?

Who Looks Out for You During Your Surgery?

Many hospitals across the country use anesthesia care teams to monitor patients while they are under anesthesia. This team typically consists of a nurse anesthetist whose job it is to keep tabs on a person’s oxygen levels, heart rate, and breathing while under anesthesia. This model allows anesthesiologists to leave the room after putting their patients under so that they can assist in other procedures. The problem is, many believe that anesthesiologists are best equipped to manage problems when they occur, as they know the medication that is used better than anyone else. And when these moments of terror do happen, the anesthesiologist may be nowhere in sight.

Every second counts when a patient stops breathing in the operating room. If the nurse anesthetist isn’t capable of resolving the problem, it may be too late by the time the anesthesiologist is notified and able to return to the room. Depending on how long it takes, the patient could be fine, or may suffer from brain damage due to lack of oxygen, or may even die.

Medical Malpractice Victims and Families Have Rights

You may be able to hold a doctor, nurse, or hospital responsible for the medical malpractice that happened to you or a loved one with the help of the Holton Law Firm. Schedule your consultation to learn more by calling 888-443-4387.