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Medical Negligence in Anesthesia: Gaining Insight and Debunking Misinformation
Written by Jinsol Eunice Lee | Published. 2022.03.09 18:33 | Count : 478

[Image source:pixabay]


Anesthesia is an integral part of any modern surgical practice, but relevant malpractice does lead to severe consequences.

These severe consequences of anesthesia malpractice have occasionally  led to misinformation and misconception concerning  anesthesia and the drugs related to the procedure.

A recent example of the malpractice of anesthesia can be seen on early February of 2022, where the Changwon District Court sentenced a 38-year-old physician to 10 months and two years of probation on charges of medical malpractice.

It was reported that the physician demonstrated negligence towards a patient undergoing surgery, which resulted in her death as her blood oxygen levels fell to zero while under anesthesia.

An additional case study shows that on March 2 of 2022, the Superior Court of Los Angeles ruled in favor of actor Bill Paxton’s widow and family, citing medical malpractice on the part of anesthesiologists during a heart operation.

Originally, the purpose of anesthetic drugs is to reduce or completely remove pain to perform serious medical procedures. 

However, the negative sentiment has especially become exacerbated, as negligence during anesthesia can be fatal.

Dr. Hong Sa-Hyukwho said, “one of the most essential qualities of a doctor is manual dexterity; to be delicate and cautious with hands because surgical procedures can be extremely sensitive and fragile at many times, especially for the anaesthesiologists.” 

He noted  that there are rare but significant side effects to anesthesia as well. He stated , “Side effects sometimes occur due to false information provided by the patient, unintended at most times, of course.”

When patients fail to report accurate information before undergoing anesthesia procedure, they may be more prone to regurgitating consumed food and inadvertently suffocating.

Sometimes, misuse of anesthetic drugs contributes to public misinformation and misconception.

One of the most commonly used anesthetic substances, Propofol, has received a lot of attention in the media when a series of public figures were exposed to abusing the substance for leisure-purpose.

Dr. Hong added, “because of the speculation that propofol can be misused or is administered by an untrained doctor, propofol has received a substantial amount of negative publicity.”

However, contrary to popular belief, propofol is an important substance used in the medical field.

Propofol works by lowering a patients’ heart rate to induce them to fall asleep and at times, it is used as a standalone treatment for minor procedures.

Dr. Hong also emphasized that anesthesia plays one of the most critical roles in many crucial medical procedures, requiring delicacy, dedication, and professionalism.

Although it is unfortunate that  fatal accidents has been brought to attention and has therefore generated negative misconceptions, reinforming the public regarding the correct uses of the anesthesia drug is crucial.










Jinsol Eunice Lee

Grade 12

ACS International (Singapore)



Jinsol Eunice Lee  hsr@dherald.com

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