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Routine sinus surgery



During routine sinus surgery, Martin Bromiley lost his wife Elaine. This has resulted due to the collapse of the airways during anesthesia sue to which the oxygen level of her body fallen too low. The low oxygen level caused significant brain damage. This incident has happened in a healthcare setting and the mentioned time was 11:30 am. There were four consultants and two nurses taking care of Elaine. The outcome of the situation was the death of the patient Elaine who has been taken to the healthcare organization for routine sinus surgery.



During the situation, I was feeling nervous and intimidated by the behavior of the consultants as they did not collaborate with the nurses during the recognized emergency. Before the situation has arrived there was a feeling of certainty that the outcomes of the operations will improve the health of the patient. After the surgery, I have felt that more communication was required between the nurses and the consultants (Kenawy & Schwartz, 2018). Other people might also go through nervousness as despite using several methods and equipment the health outcomes of the patient were not improving. Currently, all the people that were present in the situation may have felt that more assertiveness of the nurses has been required (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2018). During the situation, I was thinking that the whole process is organized however, later I have found that more organization was required for the situation.



The experience was good as I have recognized that the nurses were active during the situation and they have tried their best to help the patient. However, the lack of collaboration and mutual respect between the consultants and the nurses led to comprehension about how important collaboration and communication is in these types of critical situation as lack of communication may lead to patient death (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020). Nurses have actively helped the consultants by searching and informing about the intensive care availability. Elaine was left for waking up naturally which did not happen as planned. Every people present at the situation were aware of the incidents taking place though the concerns were not shared which didn’t go well in this current case study. A breakdown in the decision-making process was prominent.  Professional consultants did not communicate effectively with the nurses which led to this negative situation. However, nurses were active during the operation and collected tracheotomy when needed. Other nurses contributed by searching for a bed in the intensive care unit.


As the appointed nurses and the consultants were experienced the surgery could have been successful. However, a failure to take appropriate decision in the situation described can be held responsible for the outcome.  A failure to decide if the patient is needed to be taken into the intensive care unit when a bed was available there may have contributed negatively. On the other hand, there was a lack of collaboration between nurses and consultants. For instance, when the nurses informed that tracheotomy was available, consultants did not think it was feasible to use the same. A collaborative decision could have been taken in the situation. On the other hand, nurses needed to be more assertive in the situation as they were aware of what needs to be done. As influenced by (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2018), effective leadership decision was required to be taken in the situation.



Nurses may have learned to make informed decisions as they are working as a team with the consultants also. They may also have learned that they are required to be assertive where it is required. The timely and effective decision could have to change the actual outcome of the situation described. Mutual respect for the decisions made by each of the team members could have been taken to alter the outcomes. Effective leadership skills, firm and assertive behavior, and others skills are required to handle these kinds of situations effectively. Nurses could have consulted with the surgeon before making any decision.



If the nurses had to handle the same situation they are required to be involved in the risk assessment which they will inform the family members of the patient and the consultants also. They also required being truly accountable for their decisions and tasks performed (Davis, 2017). All the required tasks are to be outlined before starting the surgery. Emergency equipment is also needed to be made ready so that those can be used at the time of need. Nurses may develop these skills through thoroughly analyzing the situation they have faced from the current scenario. Nurses may conduct a specific training and meeting section where they would discuss potential emergencies and the process through which those situations can be handled.



Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2020). Australia’s Health. Retrieved from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/7c42913d-295f-4bc9-9c24-4e44eff4a04a/aihw-aus-221.pdf

Davis, C. (2017). The importance of professional accountability. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy. Retrieved from: https://cdn.journals.lww.com/nursingmadeincrediblyeasy/Fulltext/2017/11000/The_importance_of_professional_accountability.1.aspx

Kenawy, D., & Schwartz, D. (2018). An evaluation of perioperative communication in the operating room. Journal of Perioperative Practice, 28(10), 267-272. Retrieved from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1750458918780154?casa_token=pq3A9r0JzYgAAAAA:th6zWj8zPM2MKaYr8oJgj6HyrVsawGKhcRj-Nm9X9UlPwatIFFu0yha_BrGDO30cvWDS7M2xmtHTnA

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. (2018). Registered nurse code of ethics. Retrieved from: https://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/News/2018-03-01-new-codes-of-ethics-in-effect.aspx

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. (2018). Registered nurse standards for practice. Retrieved from: https://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/Codes-Guidelines-Statements/Professional-standards.aspx



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