Common Medico-Legal Insurance Pitfalls for Anesthetists

The anesthetist workforce forms a large part of the medical fraternity. Anesthetists comprise almost 4.5% of the medical practitioner community. Anesthetists are highly skilled medical professionals who work to carry out a broad spectrum of medical procedures including pain management, intensive care and perfusion. Anesthetists in Australia usually hold FANZCA or equivalent recognised qualification to practice in this specialty area. 

Anesthesia Explained

Anesthesia is a type of drug, which is used during medical surgeries/procedures. This drug helps put patients to sleep, creating loss of sensation and providing pain relief. As with all drugs, Anesthesia comes with some associated perils. The use of Anesthesia demands utmost attention and care. Any mistake or negligence while using Anesthesia can create significant consequences. A few common medico-legal claims result from:

  • Negligence in thorough check-up prior to the procedure, leading to inappropriate dosage or drug usage.
  • Injury during injecting the drug, leading to pain, nerve damage or paralysis. 
  • Inadequate monitoring of the patient during surgery via parameters such as heart rate, blood rate, oxygen flow, leading to risks of strokes or heart trouble.
  • Chipped or broken teeth during the placement and removal of breathing apparatus. 
  • Problems in stabilising a patient during and after the procedure with regards to heart rate and oxygen levels.

Tego can protect Anesthetists

As medical indemnity insurance providers in Australia, we have experience covering anesthetists and their practices.  We understand the risks involved and always open to provide 24/7 medico-legal support for our doctors. 

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Common Causes of Claims

Most Frequent Reasons Causing Claims

  • Inadequate delegation procedures when Anesthetists may have to walk out during procedures.
  • Lack of essential communication with patients, relatives and colleagues. 
  • Adherence issues with protocols and procedures set by the hospital. 
  • Inadequate and improperly timed decision to carry-out or cease surgery.

Preventive Measures

There are a number of proactive measures that can be taken to help mitigate the risk of an adverse incident arising which include:

  • Maintaining updated records and history of patients.
  • Proactive financial and treatment consent.
  • Careful delegation procedures.
  • Stay updated with best practice and regularly attend M&M meetings and industry educational events.

If You Are a Medical Practitioner With Tego Insurance

As medical indemnity insurance providers in Australia, we will cover your practice with medical indemnity insurance, medical malpractice insurance, doctors indemnity insurance, medical practice insurance, GP medical indemnity insurance, and more. Your medical indemnity insurance comes with 24/7 medico-legal advice to support and guide you in practice. 

This publication is general in nature and is not comprehensive or constitute legal or medical advice. You should seek legal, medical or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practice proper clinical decision making with regard to individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Tego Insurance Pty Ltd is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information.