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 .
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