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Thorough patient assessment is an essential aspect of ensuring the safety and well-being of individuals in a healthcare setting. Nurses are entrusted with the critical responsibility of evaluating and documenting patients’ physical conditions, particularly when it comes to airway assessment and the presence of dental appliances. Accurate assessments play a pivotal role in preventing adverse events and ensuring that patients receive the appropriate care. However, there are distressing instances when nurses deviate from these fundamental practices, potentially compromising patient safety and raising concerns about the nurse’s competence and adherence to established protocols. When nurses face allegations or legal concerns related to lapses in patient assessment, improper documentation, and potential adverse events, a nurse attorney is essential to provide invaluable support and guidance.

At the time of the initial incident, he was employed as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), at a surgery center in Richardson, Texas, and had been in that position for three (3) years and three (3) months.

On or about October 10, 2021, while working as a CRNA at a surgery center in Richardson, Texas, and providing care for a patient during her left eye cataract removal surgery, RN was accused of the following:

  1. RN failed to appropriately assess the patient’s airway and dentition; RN failed to ask if the patient wore dentures, full or partial; and RN failed to document his assessment of the patient’s airway and dentition. Subsequently, the patient suddenly stopped breathing three minutes after anesthesia start time. RN’s conduct was likely to injure the patient from inappropriate airway assessment prior to Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) and likely contributed to respiratory failure during outpatient surgery.
  2. RN failed to appropriately assess for an obstruction in the patient’s airway, after he performed a manual chin lift and full manual jaw thrust, and the patient was still not breathing. Subsequently, the patient was taken to the local emergency room, hospitalized, and on October 12, 2021, underwent laryngoscopy with removal of dentures lodged in her esophagus. RN’s conduct was likely to injure the patient from inappropriate airway assessment during a code and likely contributed to respiratory failure during a code.

In response to the above incidents, RN reports no removable dental appliance was observed during his assessment of the patient. Furthermore, RN reports a manual chin lift was applied with no resulting change, a full manual jaw lift was applied, then a bag valve mask was applied, and a code blue was called. RN reports when EMS arrived and took over CPR, his LMA was removed and was exchanged for the EMS LMA; at this time one of the EMS providers discovered a dental appliance and removed it from the patient’s oral cavity.

The above actions constitute grounds for disciplinary action in accordance with Section 301.452(b)(10)&(13) Texas Occupations Code, and is a violation of 22 TEX ADMIN. CODE §217.11(1)(A),(1)(B),(1)(D),(1)(M)&(4)(A) and 22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §217.12 (1)(A),(1)(B)&(4).

The Texas Board of Nursing gave the RN enough time to defend the complaints filed against him. However, there was a failure on the RN’s part to find the right RN/LVN license attorney to handle his case. The negligence of the RN/LVN license attorney led to the decision of the Texas BON to place the RN’s license under disciplinary action.

Equip yourself with the knowledge and expertise you need for a successful outcome by consulting a knowledgeable and experienced Texas RN/LVN nurse attorney. Texas Nurse Attorney Yong J. An is one of those dedicated nurse attorneys who helped represent more than 500 nurse cases for the past 17 years. Contact the Law Office of Yong J. An 24/7 through text or call at (832) 428-5679 for a confidential consultation regarding any accusations from the Texas BON.