Man dies after doctor goes on lunch break during surgery

A Swedish man undergoing surgery died on the operating table after the anesthesiologist and a nurse went to lunch during the procedure, The Local reported.

The 72-year-old man was having a tumor removed at a hospital in Lidköping, Sweden, and had gone under anesthesia at 10:45 a.m.  According to The Local, the head anesthesiologist then left at noon for lunch, followed by the head nurse anesthesiologist fifteen minutes later.

While they were gone, no replacement anesthesiologist took over.  Another nurse anesthesiologist was called in, but she was unfamiliar with the respirator attached to the 72-year-old.

Soon, the patient began hemorrhaging, while his blood pressure started to drop. The replacement nurse desperately tried to find the anesthesiologist at 1 p.m., when the man’s condition became critical.

The doctor and nurse finally returned from lunch, and found that the man’s respirator had been turned off – depriving the patient of oxygen for eight minutes.  They tried to resuscitate him but ultimately could not revive him.  Due to the lack of oxygen, the man had suffered severe brain damage.  He died weeks after the episode.

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The Local said the man’s incident was recently reported to Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare by the man’s daughter, and the board has issued ‘stinging criticism’ of the hospital’s policies.

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