Ep #39: Understanding Legal Implications of Anesthesia with Lynn Macksey

Lynn Macksey, CRNA, has been an expert witness on more than 50 cases and she’s bringing that knowledge to the show to help us understand the legal side to the profession. She’ll share what she’s learned through the years that will help you protect yourself and keep your name out of a case.  

On This Episode:

Nurse anesthetists dedicate their lives to helping patients and serving people, but there are occasions where mistakes happen. Despite our best intentions, these occurrences will sometimes involve legal action.

It not something we want to think about, but it’s important to understand the implications that come along with this profession so you can protect yourself. One person that knows all about this is Lynn Macksey, a CRNA who works in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of North Carolina.

After spending more than 20 years as an ICU nurse, Macksey decided to go to anesthesia school and has since published eight books about the practice. She’s also been called on as an expert witness by both plaintiff and defense teams in medical cases. On this episode of Beyond the Mask, we’ll ask Macksey to share her experiences and what she’s learned about charting that will help you protect yourself from legal action.

There’s a lot to cover on this topic and we’ll try to get all of the biggest questions answered on this episode. Check it out at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed throughout this episode.

[1:47] – Lynn Macksey is here with us today to talk medical legal implications in anesthesia.

[2:18] – Some background on Lynn.

[2:32] – How she decided to make the transition into anesthesia after 20+ years in ICU.

[4:43] – Why this topic today is so important.   

[5:29] – Keeping yourself from being named in a case is so important.

[5:59] – What are closed claims?

[8:14] – Lawsuits now include everyone that has control.

[10:08] – What are the reasons for surgical or anesthesia related lawsuits?  

[13:07] – The four elements of a medical malpractice case that must be present for negligence.

[14:54] – What specific cases have you been involved in that might have changed your practice?

[18:13] – A story about a former Saturday Night Live cast member.  

[21:02] – We learn so much from our mistakes.

[23:37] – What range of money is involved in these types of cases?

[25:48] – Final thoughts from Lynn on this topic.


“I’ve done both plaintiff and defense cases and looking through the minutiae of a case really taught me how important, not only charting is, but what you chart and how you chart. And how import it is to paint a picture because in 5 or 10 years or how many years it’s going to be that you’re going to be named in a case….you’re not going to remember this case.”

Lynn Macksey, CRNA

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