Compensation claims in pediatric orthopedics in Norway between 2012 and 2018: a nationwide study of 487 patients
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionHorn, J., Rasmussen, H., Bukholm, I.R.K et al. (2021) Compensation claims in pediatric orthopedics in Norway between 2012 and 2018: a nationwide study of 487 patients. Acta Orthopaedica, 92. 10.1080/17453674.2021.1932922
Background and purpose — In Norway all compensation claims based on healthcare services are handled by a government agency (NPE, Norsk Pasientskade Erstatning). We provide an epidemiological overview of claims within pediatric orthopedics in Norway, and identify the most common reasons for claims and compensations. Patients and methods — All compensation claims handled by NPE from 2012 to 2018 within pediatric orthopedics (age 0 to 17 years) were reviewed. Data were analyzed with regard to patient demographics, diagnoses, type of injury, type of treatment, reasons for granted compensation, and total payouts. Results — 487 compensation claims (259 girls, 228 boys) within orthopedic surgery in patients younger than 18 years at time of treatment were identified. Mean age was 12 years (0–17). 150 out of 487 claims (31%) resulted in compensation, including 79 compensations for inadequate treatment, 58 for inadequate diagnostics, 12 for infections, and 1 based on the exceptional rule. Total payouts were US$8.45 million. The most common primary diagnoses were: upper extremity injuries (26%), lower extremity injuries (24%), congenital malformations and deformities (12%), spine deformities (11%), disorders affecting peripheral joints (9%), chondropathies (6%), and others (12%). Interpretation — Most claims were submitted and granted for mismanagement of fractures in the upper and lower extremity, and mismanagement of congenital malformations and disorders of peripheral joints. Knowledge of the details of malpractice claims should be implemented in educational programs and assist pediatric orthopedic surgeons to develop guidelines in order to improve patient safety and quality of care.