Complaints Related to Laparoscopic Surgery: a Survey of the Files Registered at Tehran Legal Medicine Center

Document Type: Brief Report

Authors

1 Hospital Management Research Center (HMRC), Iran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS), Tehran, Iran

2 Imam Hossein Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Medical error/malpractice is becoming a global healthcare problem bringing ever increasing number of physicians before the courts, and posing significant costs to the health system. Statistical analysis of the nature of complaints can help identifying the most vulnerable medical practices and thereby guide development of preventive strategies. This study surveyed complaints against physicians of different specialty involving in laparoscopic surgical operation, which has led to conviction of the accused physicians. Methods: All files related to the complaints from physicians involving in laparoscopy investigated in Tehran Forensic Medicine Organization Committees during the years 2002-2008 were reviewed and the emographics of the complaints, the complications occurred, and the specialty of the accused practitioner were recorded and summarized. Findings: Of 1771 complaints filed, 59 (3.3%) were related to laparoscopic surgeries. The mean age of the complainants was 38.74 ± 7.21 years and 93.2% of them were female. While most complaints were from Gynecologists) 52.63 %(, the majority of complaints were related to in the private sector (72.9%). Major traumas were occurred during laparoscopic surgery (35.08%). Although the complaining patients were mostly under 50 years old, the majority of the lawsuits were filed after demise of the patients (36.1%). Conclusions: Our study provides useful statistics that can be used in prevention of medical rrors/malpractices in the field of laparoscopic surgery. For hospitals to avoid unwanted complications and the consequent complaints, it is required to employ experienced surgeons in laparoscopic surgery. Special attention should be paid to female patients and accurate diagnosis of their diseases by Gynecologists. In addition, private hospitals should adapt quality of their surgery services to the high expectations of the patients requiring surgical operation.

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