On June 7, 2023, Ben Howard successfully defended the license of a Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CNA). The case involved a 38-year-old woman undergoing an eye-saving surgery to repair right side retinopathy. As part of the CNA’s pre-operative evaluation, the patient reported she underwent a previous identical surgery on her left eye, but suffered cardiac and respiratory arrest after receiving anesthesia.  As a result, our CNA adjusted both the type of medication, as well as the dosage, to prevent a similar occurrence.

Despite the CNA’s precautions, the patient suffered another arrest, Pulseless Electrical Activity, and hypoxia.  The patient was intubated, resuscitated, and transferred to the ICU the same day.  She was later transferred to higher level of care, and unfortunately expired four months later.

Ben Howard used the patient’s medical history, a detailed anesthesia timeline, and the administered drugs intended affects, contraindications, and reversing properties to defend the CNA’s care.  Based on these facts developed in the curse of the representation, he argued the Complainant in this matter failed to meet its burden of proof to establish the CNA committed gross negligence or was incompetent.  The Administrative Law Judge sided with the defense, and the California Nursing Board subsequently adopted the decision.