More than one-third of the US population is overweight. All are at increased risk of breathing complications when sedated. This typically arises when someone has a high body mass index, a large fleshy neck, and is going to receive narcotics without having the airway itself protected by a special breathing tube or other device. Yet, many hospital systems have failed to screen these patients or take the simple but additional steps needed to make sure they don't stop breathing when no one is looking. Here you can download an actual case analysis and suggestions by the Chief of Anesthesia at Drexel writing for the US Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, including a simple screening tool to protect such patients. If your loved one is undergoing surgery and snores in his or her sleep, has a large fleshy neck, or is significantly overweight, you can use this to question the doctors and nurses about protecting the airway so needless injury or death does not ensue from this entirely preventable complication.
If your loved one has suffered injury or death due to an anesthesia complication or medical malpractice, please call Girards Law Firm at 888-897-2762