Death From AnÆsthetics Etc
The coroner in England and Wales and Ireland must inquire into every
case of death during the administration of an anæsthetic. The
anæsthetist has to appear at the inquest, and must answer a long series
of questions relative to the administration of the drug.
Before, therefore, giving an anæsthetic, and so as to furnish yourself
with a proper defence in the event of death occurring, you ought to
the heart, lungs, and kidneys of the patient to see if they are
healthy. Should a fatal result follow, the anæsthetist will require to
prove that it was necessary to give the anæsthetic, that the one
employed was the most suitable, that the patient was in a fit state of
health to have it administered, that it was given skilfully and in
moderate amount, that he had the usual remedies at hand in case of
failure of the heart or lungs, and that he employed every means in his
power to resuscitate the patient.
The condition of the lungs is of more importance than the state of the
The chloroformist ought always to use the best chloroform.
An anæsthetic should never be administered except in the presence of a
third person. This applies especially to dentists who give gas to
=Malpractice.=--In every case where a medical man attends a patient, he
must give him that amount of care, skill, knowledge, or judgment, that
the law expects of him. If he does not, then the charge of malpractice
may be brought against him. It is most frequently alleged in connection
with surgical affections--e.g., overlooking a fracture or dislocation.
Before a major operation is performed, it is well to get a written