Operating Room Staff Neglect Proper Positioning of Patient


This case involves a twenty-four-year-old male who had a medical history significant for numerous knee injuries requiring surgical reconstruction. The third attempt at surgical repair of his left knee was complicated postoperatively. During the immediate recovery phase, the patient complained of severe pain in the contralateral leg and the patient was rushed back to the OR for an emergent fasciotomy. Three days later, when a reassessment of the wound was conducted, it was determined that a vast majority of the lower limb muscle was not viable and required removal. It is documented that the vascular surgeon present at the second exploration stated that the initial, decompression procedure may have been inadequate.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What is the responsibility of the CRNA in ensuring the patient is in a non-compromising position during surgery?

Expert Witness Response E-004035

It is the responsibility of all persons in the OR to ensure that the patient is in the proper position before surgery starts. If the procedure is lengthy, then all parties, including the CRNA, have the duty to alert the surgeon that the patient may need readjustment to avoid complications such as compartment syndrome.

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