The Two Most Dangerous Aspects of General Anesthesia

The two most dangerous aspects of general anesthesia are at the beginning, which is called the induction phase, and at the conclusion, which is called the emerging phase.

The general anesthesia patient has the endotracheal tube inserted into their windpipe. The anesthesiologist needs to view the vocal cords to be sure that the tube is passing between them and therefore into the trachea, the windpipe, and not behind it into the esophagus, the food pipe. Furthermore, when the endotracheal tube is probably inserted and its balloon cuff is inflated, then the anesthesiologist must listen to the chest to hear that the breath sounds are equal on both sides, and observe the exhaled carbon dioxide monitor be sure that it is recording exhaled air at 4%, versus room air which is less than 1%.

In addition, although it is acceptable to have a nurse anesthetist present and conducting most of the anesthesia, in my opinion, it is not proper for the nurse anesthetist not being directly supervised by a medical doctor anesthesiologist at both the induction and the emerging phases of anesthesia. Nurse anesthetists are not doctors and are not as fully trained as medical doctor anesthesiologists, and therefore the risk factor for them conducting the anesthesia by themselves, in my experience is 10 times that of a medical doctor anesthesiologist.

In this case, a patient was placed under general anesthesia. But she had a short fat neck, making the viewing of her vocal cords even more difficult. The nurse anesthetist allegedly inserted the endotracheal tube, but did not listen for breath sounds, and did not observe the fact that the exhaled carbon dioxide monitor was not showing 4%, carbon dioxide that one would expect for exhaled air.

After a few minutes, the patient went into cardiac arrest and unfortunately, died in the operating room from the negligence of this nurse anesthetist and the negligence of the MD anesthesiologist who would be supervising, but in this case, was “supervising” a number of other nurse anesthetists at the same time, which increased his profit margin.

Through discovery obtain all of the hospital records documenting the other patients who were being given anesthesia under the alleged supervision of this anesthesiologist to all nurse anesthetists. You can, of course, have the names omitted for privacy, but the times are in the operating schedule and on the anesthesiology records which would document the number of cases that were simultaneously ongoing without this doctor being present at all times in each room, particularly at the induction and emerging phases of their anesthesia.

The experts I would recommend are a medical doctor anesthesiologist, a nurse anesthetist, and a hospital administrator since the hospital has liability for the lack of proper insurance for the safety of each of their patients undergoing general anesthesia.