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Good news: Anesthesia error claims are on the decline

A recent study showed that anesthesia-related medical malpractice claims have declined drastically since 2005 -- especially with regard to inpatient medical providers. The study that revealed the information was the "Comparison and Trends of Inpatient and Outpatient Anesthesia Claims Reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank." Its findings were presented at last year's Annual Meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

After reviewing malpractice claims from 2005 through 2013, the study discovered that malpractice claims related to anesthesia errors have declined by 41.4 percent. The study found that inpatient anesthesia claims have deceased the most, by 45.5 percent. Outpatient anesthesia claims have declined by 23.5 percent.

A total of 2,408 malpractice claims resulted in payments to the claimants. Approximately 76.5 percent of those related to inpatient procedures and 23.5 percent of them related to outpatient procedures. Thirty-eight percent of the paid claims were for instances resulting in death. The average amount paid for the malpractice claims was $245,000. Generally, inpatient claim resulted in larger settlements, averaging at $261,742. Meanwhile, outpatient claim payments averaged at $189,349.

The good news is that anesthesia-related malpractice claims are actually on the decline, which could be an indicator that anesthesiologists are doing their jobs better and less malpractice-related events and doctors' errors are happening. That said, some Connecticut residents still could suffer injuries at the hands of a negligent doctor. Indeed, these kinds of accidents happen every day throughout the country. If you or a family member is injured by doctor or hospital errors, it may be possible to seek financial restitution in court.

Source: Clinical Advisor, "Medical malpractice claims against anesthesiologists decreasing," Jan. 14, 2016

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