CHICAGO, June 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- At the recent conference "15th Annual Advanced Forum on Obstetric Malpractice Claims," Michael Wong JD (Founder and Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety) spoke on how death and brain damage in newborns and their delivering mothers might be prevented.
According to an analysis of closed claims cases of the American Society of Anesthesiologists conducted by Joanna M. Davies, F.R.C.A. and her colleagues, "Liability Associated with Obstetric Anesthesia: A Closed Claims Analysis," death and brain damage in newborns and their delivering mothers occurred in 51% the claims.
This analysis by Davies et al. also showed that the malpractice payments due to death or brain damage to either the newborn or the delivering mother (about $900,000 and $1,100,000, respectively) outweighed payments for nerve or minor injuries to the mother (both less than $100,000).
Moreover, an analysis of closed claims data of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists conducted by Karen Crawford, CRNA, PhD, "The AANA Closed Malpractice Claims Study: Obstetric Anesthesia" may provide some answers.
This analysis of AANA closed claims data recommended three areas for improvement, which may have prevented these malpractice claims:
- Have the right equipment present and make sure caregivers know how to use it.
In answering a question about whether the choice of venue played a role in the recent death of Joan Rivers, Kenneth P. Rothfield, M.D., M.B.A., Chairman, Department of Anesthesiology, Saint Agnes Hospital and on the Board of Advisors of PPAHS commented: "I don't think it's the venue that's the most important thing. ASCs traditionally have done simpler procedures in healthy patients," while hospitals have routinely dealt with a broader — and sicker — mix of people. Hospitals, he said, are more likely to be fully equipped and to have staff members with greater experience handling emergencies. "Unless you have drilled for it, and trained for it, it can be hard to pull off."
- Monitor patients with accepted standards of practice.
ECRI Institute says inadequate monitoring for respiratory depression in patients receiving opioids poses the greatest risk to patients and assigned it a risk map of 80. In an interview with PPAHS, ECRI's Patient Safety Analyst, Stephanie Uses, PharmD, MJ, JD discussed why inadequate monitoring poses a significant patient safety risk. For this interview on YouTube, please click here.
- Accurately analyze the information provided by monitors and adjust the anesthetic care plan accordingly.
In a recent survey of nurses, the ability to accurately and efficiently assess patients for signs of respiratory compromise was identified as a key area for improvement.
For a pdf of Mr. Wong's presentation, please click here.
About Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety
Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety is a non-profit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to promote safer clinical practices and standards for patients through collaboration among healthcare experts, professionals, scientific researchers, and others, in order to improve health care delivery. For more information, please go to www.ppahs.org.
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SOURCE Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety