Adverse events in anesthesia: Analysis of claims against anesthetists affiliated to an insurance fund in Colombia. Cross-sectional study
Introduction: Prevention, identification, analysis and reduction of adverse events (AEs) are all activities designed to increase safety of care in the clinical setting. Closed claims reviews are a strategy that allows to identify patient safety issues. This study analyzes adverse events resulting in malpractice lawsuits against anesthesiologist affiliated to an insurance fund in Colombia between 2013-2019.
Objective: To analyze adverse events in closed medicolegal lawsuits against anesthesiologist affiliated to an insurance fund between 2013-2019.
Methods: Cross-sectional observational study. Convenience sampling was used, including all closed claims in which anesthesiologist affiliated to an insurance fund in Colombia were sued during the observation period. Variables associated with the occurrence of AEs were analyzed.
Results: Overall, 71 claims were analyzed, of which 33.5% were due to anesthesia-related AEs. Adverse events were found more frequently among ASA I-II patients (78.9%), and in surgical procedures (95.8%). The highest number of adverse events occurred in plastic surgery (29.6%); the event with the highest proportion was patient death (43.7%). Flaws in clinical records and failure to comply with the standards were found in a substantial number of cases.
Conclusions: When compared with a previously published study in the same population, an increase in ethical, disciplinary and administrative claims was found, driven by events not directly related to anesthesia. Most of the anesthesia-related events occurred in the operating theater during surgical procedures in patients and procedures categorized as low risk, and most of them were preventable.
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