Document Detail

An analysis of orthopaedic liability in the acute care setting.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12567130     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The risk of litigation in the emergency room is not directly proportional to the severity of injury. In fact, the risk of initiation of legal action is greater in cases of relatively modest permanent and partial disability. In these cases, failure to obtain and document informed consent, failure to effectively communicate with the patient and family, and failure to assure followup and prompt assessment of complications are the factors that have most frequently led to litigation. Orthopaedic surgery ranks fifth among medical specialties in the total number of claims filed and also fifth in the cumulative amount of financial payments. Approximately 30% of filed cases ultimately result in some form of financial payment. The driving force behind litigation is financial gain for plaintiff's attorneys and compensation for plaintiffs. The motive is not the improvement of medical delivery systems or individual behavior. Access to useful data of a legal nature is extremely difficult. Only a small number of cases go on to a jury-based decision of public record. It is difficult to get accurate and complete information on the total number of cases filed, cases withdrawn, terms of settlements, and arbitrations because of the confidential nature of the settlement process.
Mark T Gould; Michael J Langworthy; Richard Santore; Matthew T Provencher
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinical orthopaedics and related research     Volume:  -     ISSN:  0009-921X     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin. Orthop. Relat. Res.     Publication Date:  2003 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-02-04     Completed Date:  2003-02-26     Revised Date:  2005-03-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0075674     Medline TA:  Clin Orthop Relat Res     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  59-66     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, CA 92134-1112, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Emergency Medical Services / economics,  legislation & jurisprudence*,  statistics & numerical data
Liability, Legal / economics*
Malpractice / economics,  legislation & jurisprudence*,  statistics & numerical data
Orthopedics / economics,  legislation & jurisprudence*,  statistics & numerical data
United States

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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