Answered Essay: A licensed anesthesiologist ran out of oxygen before a surgical procedure was completed,

A licensed anesthesiologist ran out of oxygen before a surgical procedure was completed, causing the patient to suffer a fatal cardiac arrest. This case was adjudicated (decided legally) as a medical malpractice case and the plaintiff won. Identify the 4Ds of negligence, and explain if and how they would apply to this case. Compare your answer with other students in this course. How were your answers similar? Different? Explain.

Expert Answer

Four D’s of professional negligence in clinical process, are Duty, Dereliction, Damage, and direct cause. A licensed anesthesiologist did not perform his or her duty professionally. From the analysis from the scenerio as following, the fact is so clear that the anesthesiologis was responsible for his or her professional negligence.


Primary duty of a licensed anesthesiologist is to comfort the patient during the surgery. An anesthesiologist has to ensure the feel comfortable factor of a patient from the start to the end of the surgical procedure, by monitoring the vital signs of a patient by continuously measuring the pulse, blood pressure, temperature and the respiration rate. And a surgery where the patient is in unconscious state with the general anesthetic doses, an anesthesiologist measures the volume of oxygen inhaled and the volume of carbon dioxide exhaled during the surgery.

If the oxygen supply had been stopped due to the insufficient volume in the tank, which is a medical malpractice. Because an anesthesiologist knows, measures and monitors the quantity of oxygen inhaled and how long it has been, and what is the oxygen level in the tank that how long last for the intake level of the patient. So the anesthesiologist has failed to do his duty due to his or her professional negligence.


As standard thump rule in medical emergency system, an anesthesiologist should ensure a back up to the every life supporting system like oxygen supply, or blood bags so that even if one system fails, another will take care of the essential supplies to the patient. So the oxygen shortage is due to the negligence or the deviation from the standard care.


The anesthesiologist has damaged the surgical procedure, the patient’s life, the hospital’s image, and brand due to his or her professional negligence. The negligence to ensure the enough oxygen supply even after the continuous measuring and monitoring the volume of oxygen inhaled by the patient as one of the essential duty of the anesthesiologist.

Direct Cause.

Why anesthesiologist failed to detect the occurrence of the state of oxygen cylinder getting empty? Because he/she has done her duty to ensure the volume of oxygen required to supply to the patient during the entire surgical procedure. Why did the anesthesiologist failed to ensure the oxygen inhaled that was required to be supported with an additional system of supplies? Because he or she had not neither monitored the volume remaining the oxygen cylinder nor measure the volume of oxygen inhaled by the patient due to his professional negligence. Why did the anesthesiologist failed to his duty? Because he or she had not done enough preparation of the surgical procedure and not had any estimation of the surgery duration due to his professional negligence

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