• Warning signs

    An anaesthetist’s performance could be considered questionable and unsatisfactory in the areas of:

    Interviewing where:

    • minimal medical history is taken
    • procedures and risks are not adequately explained
    • questions about co-morbidities are not asked or discussed
    • the patient is not given an opportunity to ask questions.

    Physical examination

    For example, when listening to the posterior chest for breath sounds, the anaesthetist does not:

    • listen long enough, in a systematic way or at conventional areas to hear heart sounds
    • assess the airway

    Clinical judgement

    Where the anaesthetist does not:

    • prepare equipment for potential loss of airway control
    • wear gloves or wash hands between patients
    • label syringes

    Organisation and efficiency

    Where the anaesthetist fails to:

    • consistently record readings for BP measurements and pulse oximeter
    • utilise assistance from available staff

    Key learnings

    • Understand your obligations regarding informed consent and risk disclosure.
    • Keep accurate anaesthetic records.
    • Always label drug syringes.
    • Be acutely aware of hygiene and infection control.
    • Maintain and enhance your professional knowledge and skills.