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Bungled anesthetic leads to death of mother

Date Posted: 2002-07-13

A mother about to have a Cesarean section died unexpectedly in Okinawa Nanbu Hospital. The police are conducting an investigation. A doctor had given the 20-year-old woman a local anesthetic into her spinal cord when preparing her for the operation. Suddenly, the woman’s heart stopped, and after failing to revive her heartbeat the doctor sent the patient to another hospital where she died.

An autopsy report said that the reason of her death was the anesthetic injection that was not administered properly, and the hospital reported the incident to the police. According to the police investigation, the patient had complained to the doctor after the injection that she had trouble breathing. 10 minutes later she stopped breathing. The doctor then started heart massage and arranged her transfer to another hospital where they managed to get her heart beating again. However, her heart stopped after a few hours. The baby also died.

The doctor who administered the anesthetic claims that he is not at fault, although he admits that he had had difficulty finding the right point to insert the needle. “I have done this many times in the past without any trouble. There must be some other reason for this patient to die,” he says. He also says that he is fully cooperating with the police investigation.

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