Analysis of malpractice claims associated with surgical site infection in the field of plastic surgery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Postoperative infections are rare after plastic surgery; however, when present, they can affect the aesthetic outcome. Currently, many malpractice lawsuits are associated with surgical site infection. The present study aimed to analyze malpractice claims associated with surgical site infection in the field of plastic surgery through a review of Korean precedents. We analyzed the type of procedure, associated complications, and legal judgment in these cases. Most claimants were women, and claims were most often related to breast surgery. The common complications related to surgical site infection were deformity, scar, and asymmetry. Among the 40 cases, 34 were won by the plaintiff, and the mean claim settlement was 2,832,654 KRW (USD 2,636.6). The reasons for these judgements were as follows: 1) immediate bacterial culture tests were not performed and appropriate antibiotics were not used; 2) patients were not transferred to a high-level hospital or the infection control department was not consulted; 3) surgical site infection control measures were not appropriate; and 4) surgical procedures were performed without preoperative explanation about surgical site infection. The number of claims owing to surgical site infection after surgery is increasing. Infection handling was one of the key factors that influenced the judgement, and preoperative explanation about the possibility of infection is important. The findings will help surgeons achieve high patient satisfaction and reduce liability concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1963-1968
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Korean Medical Science
Volume31
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Malpractice Litigation
  • Nosocomial Infection
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Surgical Site Infection

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of malpractice claims associated with surgical site infection in the field of plastic surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this