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...

Surgeons Remove Thyroid Gland by Making 3 Small Incisions Inside the Mouth Underneath Lower Lip
Anesthesiologist Dealing with Fallout Following Racially Insensitive Facebook Post About First Lady
Bill Promotes Pricing Transparency and Protects Physicians From EHR Penalties
Donald Trump Picks Staunch Obamacare Critic Tom Price, MD, as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
Appendectomy Patients Don't Need an Overnight Stay
A Look Back at OR Excellence
Drug-Resistant Fungus Linked to 4 Deaths in U.S. Hospitals

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

News & Notes

Anesthesiologist Accused of Failing to Respond While Woman, 29, Slipped Away

Wrongful death suit also questions how well equipped freestanding surgical centers are to handle emergencies.

News & Notes