Pardon the profusion of lists on this post but there are some really fascinating data here that every anesthesiologist should read. The Doctors Company, a national medical malpractice insurer, compiled a list of anesthesia claims between 2007 to 2012. A total of 607 cases were identified. Their most common anesthesia complications leading to claims were:
1. Teeth damage-20.8%
3. Nerve damage-13.5%
4. Organ damage-12.7%
6. Cardiac arrest-10.7%
The most common allegations of malpractice against anesthesiologists were:
1. Improper performance of anesthesia procedure-25%
2. Tooth damage related to intubation and extubation-24%
3. Improper management of patient under anesthesia-19%
4. Failure to monitor patient's physiologic status-3%
And what are the improper performance of anesthesia procedures that people are suing for?
1. Injection of anesthesia into the spinal canal-37%
2. Intubation of respiratory tract-35%
3. Injection of anesthesia-peripheral nerve-20%
4. Injection of anesthesia-sympathetic nerve-3%
5. Nasopharyngeal intubation-2%
The average payout for anesthesia related complications was $309,066.
That compares poorly with the average for all other physicians, which
was only $291,000. However anesthesiologists are right in the middle of the pack in a list of other specialties. Pediatrics had the highest indemnity with well over $1 million while ENT had the least with under $200,000.
There is a lot more information from The Doctors Company study than is presented here.