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JOURNAL OF NEUROSURGICAL SCIENCES

A Journal on Neurosurgery


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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2004 September;48(3):97-103

Copyright © 2005 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Neurosurgery in the law court

De Santis A.

Neurosurgey Unit, L. Sacco Department of Clinical Sciences University of Milan, O. Galeazzi Institute, Milan, Italy


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Aim. The evident rise in the number of neurosurgical malpractice and the apparent lack of adequate training in neurosurgery patient management are discussed. However, alongside neurosurgeons, neurosurgical malpractice claims involve also physicians from primary to specialist care, particularly those attending neurosurgical patients in emergency rooms. Some pathologies and disputed treatments are described.
Methods. The case series includes 138 medical malpractice lawsuits examined over a 10-year period (1992-2002). The pathologies for which disputed treatment led to malpractice lawsuit as well as their frequency are presented.
Results. Of the total 138 lawsuits examined, 38 did not involve professional health care workers, whereas the remaining 100 cases involved: neurosurgeons (48 cases); other specialist or primary physicians (51 cases); nursing staff (1 case). These malpractice lawsuits and the relevant pathologies are examined in detail.
Conclusion. On the basis of personal experience, some considerations and recommendations are suggested for the clinical practice.

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