PACU Errors Due to New York Medical Malpractice

Anesthesia Errors, Hospitals, Nurses, Surgery

New York Medical Malpractice Causing PACU Errors

PACU (post-anesthesia care unit) errors can result in serious personal injuries or the wrongful death of a patient.  This can be a very serious type of New York medical malpractice and be deadly.  Although most healthcare providers competently care for and provide adequate care for patients, there are many PACU nurses and healthcare providers which fail to provide an adequate level of care and treatment.  This is particularly dangerous because the PACU is a post anesthesia care unit, meaning that a PACU is responsible for seeing a patient come out of anesthesia.  This includes checking for complications or other issues related to the surgery and the anesthesia.

What is an Acceptable PACU Nurse-to-Patient Ratio?

Generally, in a PACU a patient will have near 1:1 nursing staff ratios.  This means that there will be one PACU nurse per patient.  Sometimes this is 2:1, two patients per one nurse, or even 3:1.  But the problems arise when the situation becomes 5:1, 8:1, or even 10:1.  This is just dangerous because a nurse needs to monitor all of these patients all at once.  If the patient is not completely monitored, it could allow a preventable complication to be life-threatening.  While it may sound like a PACU nurse does not have that much to do just looking at patients sleeping, if one patient has a complicated that means that the other patients will not be monitored.  If a PACU nurse has too many patients, one complication could mean that all of those patients are not being properly monitored.

How Does Inattentiveness Affect the PACU?

Another issue with PACU nurses is that they are properly trained and they are not distracted.  It could be tiring to sit and watch patients that are sleeping and without complications.  But this is not a license for PACU nurses to play on their phones, read magazines or articles online, or otherwise text, call, or become distracted on their cell phone.  When a healthcare provider is distracted while monitoring a patient in the PACU, that could result in serious personal injuries or the wrongful death of a patient.

Shouldn’t PACU nurses who do not properly monitor their patients be liable for medical errors and mistakes?  Absolutely!  

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