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What are the top 10 reasons for surgical malpractice claims?

This is a study based on paid, surgery-related malpractice claims from September 1999 through July 2011 derived from the National Practitioner Data Bank.  During this 12-year period, there were nearly 20,000 paid malpractice claims related to surgery.  Here is the ranked list based on the reason for the malpractice claim.

  1. Improper performance (most frequently cited reason)
  2. Improper technique
  3. Failure to recognize a complication
  4. Retained foreign body
  5. Improper management
  6. Unnecessary procedure
  7. Wrong body part
  8. Failure to obtain consent/lack of informed consent
  9. Failure to perform procedure
  10. Delay in performance

Source: Jiam, N.T.-L., Cooper, M.A., and others.  Surgical malpractice claims in the United States.  Journal of Healthcare Risk Management;33(4):29-34, Q2, 2014.  Click here for access to publisher’s website: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jhrm.21140/abstract  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2003, rc@aha.org

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