There’s nothing unusual about childhood accidents like breaking an arm. But when five-year-old Kensley Kirby broke her arm and was taken to Family Medical Clinic in Atlanta, something usual did happen – she died as the result of a lethal dose of the anesthetic lidocaine, which was caused by a surgical error.
Dying from a local anesthesia is extremely rare,” Dr. Elliot Krane of Stanford University told ABC News. “But there is a maximum allowable dose of lidocaine, and as with any drug, it has toxicity associations with it.”
Common Causes of Anesthesia Errors
Some of the common reasons for anesthesia errors include:
- Lack of communication. Anesthesia errors can occur when anesthesiologists do not feel comfortable enough to communicate about problems with the surgeon in charge of a procedure
- Workplace culture. In some medical facilities, the use of anesthesiologists is relatively relaxed. If one of these professionals is not available for some reason, such as a short break, surgeries are often continued without them. As a result, no one is monitoring the amount of anesthesia administered to the patient
- Training. In some cases, certified nurse anesthetists (CNAs) are used in lieu of anesthesiologists. Many experts believe that this can lead to mistakes because CNAs do not receive the same level of training as anesthesiologists
- Insurance company red tape. Some insurance companies will not pay for an anesthesiologist, forcing unqualified surgical staff to monitor the anesthesia given to patients
If a loved one died as the result of an anesthesia error – or if you were injured as a result of this kind of medical mistake – contact an experienced Teal & Montgomery attorney today to explore your legal options.medical malpractice attorney. With the help of counsel, you can navigate your way through the process of filing a lawsuit and collect damages for your injuries.