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...

Bair Hugger Target of Suit Claiming It Caused Deadly Infection
UnitedHealthcare Accused of Withholding Payments to Indiana ASCs
ACS Improves Its Surgical Risk Calculator
When Small Hospitals Outperform Big Hospitals
California Out-of-Network ASCs Granted $9.5 Million Settlement in United Healthcare Underpayment Case
Cataract Surgeon Can't Be Blamed for Failure of Anesthesia Providers, Jury Finds
Joan Rivers's Docs Accept Blame, Agree to Pay "Substantial" Amount

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

Why Surgeons Turn Up Their Tunes

Piano-playing physician studies what music brings to the OR table.

Court Overturns $12 Million Defamation Judgment Against Plastic Surgery Patient

Judges say verdict "shocks the conscience of this court" and order new trial.

FDA Approves "Belly Balloon" Weight-Loss Device

The temporary endoscopic treatment helps obese patients lose weight without surgery.