Volume 40 Supplement 1
Pediatric claims in Italy during a 8-years survey
© Agostiniani et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014
Published: 11 August 2014
Very few data are available on pediatrics malpractice claims. We report the first data obtained in Italy on pediatrics regarding a wide population study during a 8 years survey. Data concerning 164 claims are presented and discussed. Our data suggest how big is the problem and they may be helpful to face it.
Pediatrics is not a high-risk specialty in terms of the number of claims, although some of the largest financial payouts have been for multiple disabled children with perinatal injuries and long life expectancy [1–5]. We report the first data obtained in Italy on pediatrics regarding a wide population study.
Materials and methods
We conducted a retrospective, descriptive analysis of a nation-wide database on pediatric malpractice claims, in which patients alleged a permanent impairment related to a medical misconduct. The Italian Society of Pediatrics (Società Italiana di Pediatria; SIP) has developed a link – thorough insurance broker Willis Italian SpA – with an insurance company (CARIGE Assicurazioni SpA) that insures a wide proportion of Italian pediatricians (nearly 60% out of 8000 physicians).
We asked Willis to perform a query of its database, looking at malpractice claims reported between January, 1st 2005 and December, 31st 2012 involving pediatrics while avoiding neonatology.
Definitions are used as previously reported by ours .
Main area of claims in the 8 years-survey
Main area of claims
Number of claims
Gastrointestinal medical problem (vomiting, diarrhea) with subsequent dehydration
Iatrogenic pathology (drugs, catheters…)
Undiagnosed congenital cardiopathy
Post vaccinal encephalitis
Undiagnosed urinary disease
Undiagnosed rare disease
Malpractice data can be used to identify problem-prone clinical processes and suggest interventions that may reduce errors. Continual medical education should be oriented in areas of claims also improving physician communication skills .
- Marcovitch H: When are paediatricians negligent?. Arch Dis Child. 2011, 96: 117-120. 10.1136/adc.2010.195784.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Selbst SM, Friedman MJ, Singh SB: Epidemiology and etiology of malpractice lawsuits involving children in US emergency departments and urgent care centers. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2005, 21: 165-169.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kain ZN, Caldwell-Andrews AA: What pediatricians should know about child-related malpractice payments in the United States. Pediatrics. 2006, 118: 464-468. 10.1542/peds.2005-3112.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Carroll AE, Buddenbaum JL: Malpractice claims involving pediatricians: Epidemiology and etiology. Pediatrics. 2007, 120: 933-935.Google Scholar
- Ozdemir MH, Ergönen TA, Can IO: Medical malpractice claims involving children. Forensic Sci Int. 2009, 191: 80-85. 10.1016/j.forsciint.2009.06.014.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Tagliabue P, Greco L, Agostiniani R, Carbone MT, D'Agostino P, Correra A: Neonatal malpractice claims in Italy: how big is the problem and which are the causes?. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2012, 25: 493-7. 10.3109/14767058.2011.622004. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2011.622004View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- D'Aloja E, Floris L, Muller M, Birocchi F, Fanos V, Paribello F, Demontis R: Shared decision-making in neonatology: An utopia or an obtainable goal?. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2010, 23 (Suppl 3): 56-58. 10.3109/14767058.2010.509913.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.