To the Editor
With thirty-plus years of experience in risk management activities involving medical malpractice, I find it extremely interesting, and with considerable trepidation, that anesthesiologists feel they can divide their attention between constant observation of their patient and reading a novel. In your Spring 1995 APSF Newsletter, I read with great interest the reaction of many of your other readers. The opinion of the physician from Sudbury, Ontario, who felt that it was perfectly all right to read in an effort to keep sharp and away from boredom while doing a case is appalling.
This physician seems to feel that no matter what occurs, and whether he’s distracted or not, he is still in complete control. It appears that he accomplished several outside tasks while attending a case, including reading the APSF Newsletter and writing a draft. I wonder if this same physician also reduced his fee for the period of time he was not attending the patient.
Any type of reading that doesn’t pertain to the particular procedure being performed at the time, and that interferes with the unwavering care of the patient, should not be tolerated in any form.
Garth M. Newman, CSP
Vice President, Loss Control
O’Rourke, Andrews & Maroney, Inc. Fort Wayne, IN