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Professional liability claims in vascular surgery practice.

Roche, Enric; Gómez-Durán, Esperanza L; Benet-Travé, Josep; Martin-Fumadó, Carles; Arimany-Manso, Josep.
Ann Vasc Surg; 28(2): 324-9, 2014 Feb.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24012089

BACKGROUND:

Patient safety is a major concern worldwide, but particularly high rates of adverse events are reported in the surgery setting. Angiology and vascular surgery is of special interest due to the complexity of the pathologies involved and the esthetic component of some of its procedures. In this study we identified the most frequent factors that apply to vascular surgery claims to determine areas of special risk in vascular surgery, with an aim to improve patient safety.

METHODS:

We performed a retrospective and descriptive study of the claims pertaining to vascular surgery from the database of the Service of Professional Liability (SRP) of the Official College of Physicians of Barcelona. The time frame of data collection was from 1986 to 2009. We analyzed both the clinical and legal characteristics of the cases.

RESULTS:

Of the total of 6952 registered claims during the 23-year period, 91 (1.3%) were related to the practice of vascular surgery. Of these, 53.8% were related to venous pathology and 46.1% to arterial pathology. Neurologic damage was the main motive for claims (15.3%), followed by thromboembolic disease (14.2%), burns as a result of cosmetic treatment (12%), and amputation (10.9%). The neurologic damage in relation to vein pathology registered the greatest proportion of cases with professional liability (30.8%), followed by burns (19.2%), forgotten gauze (11.5%), and amputations (11.5%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Angiology and vascular surgery does not seem to be a specialty with a high risk for claims, but complications, such as thromboembolic disease and neurologic damage after varicose vein intervention, do occur and deserve special attention so improvements can be made to patient safety.