August 25, 2017

Patient falls from OR, procedure tables during anesthesia care

By: Judy Mathias

Editor’s Note

In this analysis of patient falls from OR and procedure tables during anesthesia care, researchers queried two independent closed claims databases. They identified 21 claims (1.2% of cases) in the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Closed Claims Project and 0.07% of cases in the secure records of a private, anesthesia specialty-specific liability insurer.

A total of 71.5% of these patients were under general anesthesia, 19.5% were under regional anesthesia, and 9.5% were under monitored anesthesia care.

To educate personnel about these uncommon events, the researchers summarized this cohort in a series of case reports and created two videos to illustrate some of the unique mechanisms by which these events and their resulting injuries occur. They also suggest strategies to mitigate the risks.

Patient safety secured by constant vigilance remains a primary responsibility of every anesthesia professional. Although significant attention has been focused on patient falls occurring before and after surgery, a potentially catastrophic complication is when patients fall off an operating room …

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