Purpose of the study
The patient undergoing surgery is at risk of complications, some of which can be serious; these can expose the surgeon or institution to claims for compensation of damages. The aim of this study is to analyze the surgical management of these situations in order to draw lessons, to improve the management of patients, and to prevent both complications and resulting claims.
Patients and methods
Two visceral surgeons analyzed two hundred and thirty-one claims files. The patient's characteristics and data, the intervention, the source event of the claim, re-interventions, transfers, deaths and their causes were identified. Any error, whether it was identified by the expert or by the arbitration panel or court and vice versa was analyzed, including any amicable out-of-court agreement proposed by the insurance, even, if in certain cases, no real fault had been found.
The mean age of the colon surgery patients was 62 years. The pathologies for which surgery was performed fell into three equal parts: colon cancer, sigmoid diverticulitis, and other pathologies. The event leading to the claim occurred during hospitalization in 69.2% of cases. The most common events prompting claims were anastomotic leak (34.1%) and injury to neighboring organs (16.4%). In 36.7% of cases, patients required transfer to another facility and 31.1% died. At least one fault or error was found in 46.8% of cases. Anastomotic leak has always been considered an inherent risk of colonic surgery. The main fault alleged was delay in management in nearly two out of three cases, including delays in communication, in physical and laboratory examination, medical treatment, re-operation, and transfer.
Specific information was provided to the patient before surgery and an effective checklist to prevent complaints and complications. In the post-operative period, an active approach to management initiated without delay by the entire team when faced with any unexpected event favored a quick recovery and could avoid the complaints; exams, sometimes lacking, remain complementary as their names indicate.El texto completo de este artículo está disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Colorectal, Claims, Delay
Vol 156 - N° S1P. S61-S65 - septembre 2019 Regresar al número
Bienvenido a EM-consulte, la referencia de los profesionales de la salud.
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