|Oops. Not a dental chair|
Predictably Mr. Lapinski stopped breathing. Unfortunately for him, nobody in the office knew how to resuscitate an apneic patient. When the paramedics finally arrived, they started CPR and attempted to intubate Mr. Lapinski. To their surprise, there were still two surgical gauze packed into the oropharynx causing obvious airway obstruction. The patient was taken to the hospital where he died three days later of anoxic brain injury. His medical records indicate that, in addition to the fateful injection of propofol, he had been given fentanyl, midazolam, ketamine, and methohexital. Wow! That is a witch's brew of anesthetics that no well trained anesthesia provider will ever give all at one time to the same patient.
It's insane how many doctors and dentists think anesthetizing a patient is as simple as pushing a drug into an IV. There is frequently inadequate emergency resuscitation equipment available. The doctor who is doing the procedure is also the one giving the drug. Nobody is focusing one hundred percent of his attention on the most important person in the room, the patient. Dr. Paul may have a pulse ox on Mr. Lapinski, but when the shit hit the fan and the oximetry reading dropped to zero, what does he do? Nothing. Because he didn't know how to properly ventilate an apneic person.
Until more doctors are instilled with the fear of medical malpractice for giving anesthetics that they don't understand or know how to counteract, these unfortunate events will continue. They will have to realize that the price of hiring an anesthesiologist is much cheaper than killing their patients and losing their license and livelihood.