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[Judicial judgements on anesthesia malpractice in Japan].

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Masui. The Japanese journal of anesthesiology
Publication Date
Volume
48
Issue
5
Pages
487–499
Identifiers
PMID: 10380503
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

We reviewed 75 judicial precedents on anesthetic malpractice during surgical procedure which had appeared in legal journals in the period between 1963 and 1997. Anesthetic techniques employed were: general anesthesia (35 cases), spinal anesthesia (19 cases), local anesthesia (12 cases), and others (9 cases). Anesthesiologists were involved in 16 lawsuits, of which anesthesiologists lost 6 suits between 1986 and 1995. There were 8 cases classified as to be caused by respiratory problems including 2 cases of wrong gas supply. The defendants lost all the 8 cases. On the other hand, the plaintiff lost all the cases of malignant hyperthermia (n = 7). There is a tendency of increase in law suit with general anesthesia. Recent judgments suggested the importance of anesthetic managements, correct recording and appropriate monitoring by anesthesiologist during and immediately after surgery. Spinal anesthesia should be performed by anesthesiologist, and the frequency of anesthetic accident should be decreased. Japan is still in short of anesthesiologists and efforts should be paid to increase the number of anesthesia specialists.

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