Several years ago, I was in the cardiac theatre working as an anesthesia technician and meanwhile, one 5 years old boy who was a cardiac patient was undergoing dental clearance by a trainee dentist. After the trainee was through, the inhalation agent got terminated so as to allow the patient to recover prior to the removal of the endotracheal tube. Now in many situations, it is too risky for novices like dentists undergoing training to take full control of actual procedures to be performed on the patients and it also appeared later from a consent form that the patient’s parents had never agreed to the direct involvement of anyone but highly qualified professionals in their child’s treatment in the OT. Clearly, this critical incident originated due to a lack of healthy communication between the surgeons and patients which is essential to avoiding risks in the OT. Though the patient did not experience considerable harm his parents had desired for any intervention to be carried out by trained professionals and not by trainees.
The shock was one of the feelings that overcame me first when from another anesthesia technician I learned that the patient’s parents had not wished for the involvement of a trainee to avoid any possible risks. This fellow technician despite knowing of the parents’ .unwillingness refrained from bringing this thing to the doctor’s attention. It is claimed that patient safety is put at risk due to an increased incidence of medical errors (O’Daniel &. Rosenstein 2008) which occur when ethical and legal guidance in clinical practice is not carefully implemented. Also, the lack of trust within the sub-organizations or different departments suppresses collaborative teamwork (Crabtree et al. 2008) which is essential for safe care delivery. All professionals including anesthesia care providers ought to realize that there are countless areas where an inability to adhere to ethical and legal perspectives of patient consent can produce critical or even chaotic results (Walker 1996).