JOURNAL ARTICLE

Clinical negligence claims in pediatric surgery in England: pattern and trends

Mandela Thyoka
European Journal of Pediatric Surgery 2015, 25 (1): 66-70
25526607

AIMS OF THE STUDY: We hypothesized that there has been an increase in the number of successful litigation claims in pediatric surgery in England. Our aim was to report the incidence, causes, and costs of clinical negligence claims against the National Health Service (NHS) in relation to pediatric surgery.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We queried the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) on litigation claims among children undergoing pediatric surgery in England (2004-2012). We decided a priori to only examine closed cases (decision and payment made). Data included year of claim, year of payment of claim, payment per claim, paid-to-closed ratio, and severity of outcome of clinical incident.

RESULTS: Out of 112 clinical negligence claims in pediatric surgery, 93 (83%) were finalized-73 (65%) were settled and damages paid to the claimant and 20 (18%) were closed with no payment, and 19 (17%) remain open. The median payment was £13,537 (600-500,000) and median total cost borne by NHSLA was £31,445 (600-730,202). Claims were lodged at a median interval of 2 (0-13) years from time of occurrence with 55 (75%) cases being settled within the 3 years of being received. The commonest reasons for claims were postoperative complications (n=20, 28%), delayed treatment (n=16, 22%), and/or diagnosis (n=14, 19%). Out of 73, 17 (23%) closed claims resulted in case fatality. Conclusion: Two-thirds of all claims in pediatric surgery resulted in payment to claimant, and the commonest reasons for claims were postoperative complications, delayed treatment, and/or diagnosis. Nearly a quarter of successful claims were in cases where negligence resulted in case fatality. Pediatric surgeons should be aware of common diagnostic and treatment shortfalls as high-risk areas of increased susceptibility to clinical negligence claims.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
25526607
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"