Most common claims related to bad anesthesia outcomes at ASCs — 7 study findings

While hospitals see more high-severity closed claims, most ASC-related claims are low or medium in severity, according to Anesthesiology News.

Researchers from Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center used claims data to determine the range of outcomes when anesthesia care resulted in a medical malpractice claim. Injury severity was graded based on a nationally validated scale.

Here are seven findings:

1. The most common injuries for ASC-related claims were dental harm, subsequent pain and nerve damage.

2. Of the 944 anesthesiology claims and lawsuits researchers analyzed, 30.7 percent stemmed from events in ASCs.

3. Thirty-three percent of the claims from ASC events were for low-severity injuries. Low-severity claims accounted for 13 percent of claims for all physician specialties.

4. High-severity claims made up 19 percent of all ASC-related claims. About half of those high-severity claims involved patient deaths.

5. Intubation-related damage to the teeth was the most common allegation. It accounted for 26 percent of all claims.

6. Other common claims included improper performance of an anesthetic procedure; intubation-related adverse events were also common claims; improper management of a patient under anesthesia; and incorrect positioning.

7. The median expense paid for an ASC-based claim was $87,888.

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