Court rules in favor of ASC in $5M malpractice suit 

A court has ruled in favor of an ASC, a certified registered nurse anesthetist and an anesthesiologist who were sued by a patient who had a complication with a sleep apnea procedure that put her in a medically induced coma for nearly two weeks, Virginia Lawyers Weekly reported Jan. 16. 

According to the report, the patient, who suffered a hypoxic brain injury because of a lack of oxygen, has no memory of her life prior to surgery and continued to have frequent seizures after her hospitalization.

The suit, which was settled in September in a Virginia circuit court, alleged that the CRNA extubated the patient too soon from surgery. During litigation, it was found the CRNA "altered numerous values of the ventilatory data both before and after the extubation making the patient appear more stable and her condition less severe."

The plaintiffs, who were looking for $5 million in damages, argued the CRNA altering these numbers shows they knew the patient should not have been extubated. They also argued that the on-site anesthesiologist should have been present. 

The CRNA during litigation said he updated the records after the patient was "coughing on the endotracheal tube and moving her arms, both before and after extubation, creating inaccurate readings in the medical chart," according to the report.

The defendants, meanwhile, said the ventilatory data was affected by the patient coughing and moving her arms and that her overall condition before extubation was appropriate for how the CRNA handled the situation. 

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