Failure to recognize loss of incoming data in an anesthesia record-keeping system may have increased medical liability

Michael M. Vigoda, David Lubarsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

Automated anesthesia record-keeping systems (AARKs) are increasingly being used. There is a perception that AARKs may limit medical liability. We report a case in which our AARK may have increased our medical liability exposure. Nine months after a patient suffered a serious intraoperative complication, the anesthesiologist was named (as one of several defendants) in a claim alleging failure to properly monitor anesthetic care. One reason why the anesthesiologist was named related to a gap of 93 min in which no vital signs were documented in the anesthesia record. Relying on the physiological monitors to assess the patient's condition, the anesthesiologist did not recognize the interruption of data transmission, because the "active" medication window obscured the graphical display of the vital sign window.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1798-1802
Number of pages5
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Volume102
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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