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  • Why DO ANESTHESIA PROFESSIONALS GET SUED?



    Recently Medscape came out with an article entitled "Why Anesthesiologists Get Sued". This is something both CRNAs and Anesthesiologist are always concerned about.

    The take away parts of the article are:

    How Often do we get sued?

    - Only 5% of male MDAs and 2% of female MDAs were the only parties named in a suit
    - 57% of make MDAs and 40% of female MDAs are involved in lawsuits in their career
    - 85% of ob/gyns, 83% of general surgeons, and 79% of orthopedists have been sued.
    - By age 54, 59% of MDAs will have been sued

    Cause of Lawsuit?


    - 47% were related to patient suffering an abnormal injury from a procedure (block, intubation etc)
    - 9% were failure to diagnosis
    - 8% were failure to treat

    Does a Lawsuit Change Practice?

    - 57% of MDAs who were previously sued or named in a lawsuit said that the threat of another one affects them either alwaysówith every patientóor almost all the time.

    Where do Lawsuits Occur Most?


    - 48% of paid claims were in Hospital inpatient settings
    - 43% in outpatient Settings (ASCs)

    How Many Hours did MDAs Spend Preparing for Lawsuit and how Long did it Last?

    - 37% said it took 40+ hours to prepare
    - 36% said they were IN COURT for more than 50 hours
    - 38% said the entire process lasted 1-2 years
    - 30% lasted 3-5 years

    How FAR did the lawsuits Progress?

    - 44% of lawsuits were dismissed
    - 36% reached a settlement before trial
    - 31% suit was settled by depositions
    - 21% suit went to depositions and was dismissed
    - Less than 14% of MDAs who were sued went to trial
    - Of the 14% that went to trial only 9% went as far as the verdict

    What Were The FINAL Verdicts?

    - 2% of suits which made it to a final verdict were FOR the PLAINTIFF

    What Would MDAs have done Differently?

    - 58% said they would not change a thing as they were within the standard of care
    - 17% would have documented better

    What were the MONETARY Awards?

    - 45% of cases resulted in NO reward
    - 14% were UNDER $100 000
    - 41% were OVER $100 000
    - 10% were over a million

    Top THREE Regions of the Country Where MDAs were Sued:

    - 67% from HI, AK, CA
    - 62% from SC, GA, FL, AL, MS, LA, TN, KY
    - 58% from TX, OK, AR
    - The lowest at 41% was AZ, UT, CO, NM, NV

    Top 5 Pieces of Advice from Those Who were Sued:

    - Better Documentation
    - Be very prepared
    - Get Legal advice early and listen to it
    - Make sure your actions are well thought out and and your defense reasoned throughly
    - Keep your cool and tell the truth

    You can find the full survey HERE
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