Home >  News >  March, 2014

Anesthesiologist Mistakenly Administers Fatal Dose of Lidocaine

Death is blamed on medication mix-up.

Published: March 19, 2014

A Connecticut anesthesiologist who administered a fatal dose of lidocaine instead of the intended Hespan has been fined $7,500 and reprimanded by the state's medical examining board.

Sandra Congdon, MD, made the mistake during a 2013 discectomy at the Surgery Center of Fairfield County in Trumbull. Records show that when the patient's blood pressure dropped during the procedure, Dr. Congdon inadvertently administered lidocaine instead of Hespan (hydroxyethyl starch), which is used to expand blood plasma when a patient goes into shock. Medications had been loaded incorrectly on the crash cart, contributing to the error, according to board records.

The patient, who showed no pulse after the mistake, died after being transferred to the emergency department at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport. The cause of death was acute lidocaine toxicity.

The surgery center filed a plan with the state showing it had corrected its procedures because of the incident, and Dr. Congdon has attended a seminar on patient safety and risk management, records show. A call for comment to Dr. Congdon by Outpatient Surgery Magazine was not returned.

Jim Burger


Also in the News...

Beverly Hills Anesthesiologist Injected Himself With Drugs During Surgery and Later Gave Patient a Lethal Dose of Demerol
Lawsuit: Patient Suffered Emotional Distress Listening to Surgeon Talk While He Operated on Her
MedPAC Will Recommend No Payment Update for ASCs in 2019
Why Was This N.J. Pain Management Doc Barred From Practice?
Researchers Say a Lack of Education Leads Patients to Overestimate Their Post-op Pain
Deadly DVT: Man Dies From Pulmonary Embolism Following Leg Tendon Surgery
A New Kind of Gender Bias for Female Surgeons

New to Outpatient Surgery Magazine?
Sign-up to continue reading this article.
Register Now
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

Mix-up at Hospital Costs Woman Her Breast

Tissue samples taken from a woman in her 30s were confused with those of an older woman.

News & Notes

Negligence Complaint Ties Lung Paralysis to Improper Placement of Regional Block

Man alleges his permanent lung injury occurred during placement of interscalene brachial plexus nerve block.