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Medical Malpractice Litigation After Spine Surgery In Beijing Between 2013 And 2018 London Spine

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Published article

CONCLUSIONS: This study comprehensively summarized the medical alleged malpractice litigation after spine surgery in Beijing. Given the rapid growth rate of spine surgery and the burden of related alleged medical malpractice litigation, it is valuable for spine surgeons to understand the potential legal impact of spine surgery. The most common complaint addressed in this study is inadequate consent. The findings in the present study highlight that in China, spine surgeons should pay more…
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Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze the characteristics of alleged medical malpractice litigation involving spine surgery in Beijing between 2013 and 2018.

Methods: Two online legal databases, Wusong and Weike, were queried for court verdicts involving spine surgery from January 2013 to December 2018 in Beijing. For all included cases, data pertaining to defendants, plaintiffs, case outcomes, allegations, and verdicts were abstracted, and descriptive analyses were performed.

Results: A total of 186 legal cases were identified, and 122 cases were excluded because of irrelevance or insufficient information. Of the patients in the 64 cases included in this investigation, 40.6% were male. The mean age of the plaintiffs was 53.2 ± 18.6 years. The most common complaint addressed in this study is inadequate consent (53.1%; n = 34), followed by additional surgery required (40.2%; n = 26), being unsatisfied with the outcome of surgery (17.6%; n = 11), postoperative paralysis (15.6%; n = 10), and postoperative infection (15.6%; n = 10). The most common primary disease among all the cases is lumbar spinal stenosis (28.1%; n = 18), followed by spinal tumor (18.8%; n = 12), cervical spondylosis (17.2%; n = 11), vertebral fracture (14.1%; n = 9), deformity (12.5%; n = 8), and others (9.3%; n = 6). Spine surgeons successfully defended themselves in 13 cases (20.3%), which resulted in no indemnity payment. The remaining 51 cases (79.7%) were closed with an average verdict payout of U.S. $22,597, which was significantly lower than the average compensation claimed by the plaintiff (U.S. $11,3762) (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: This study comprehensively summarized the medical alleged malpractice litigation after spine surgery in Beijing. Given the rapid growth rate of spine surgery and the burden of related alleged medical malpractice litigation, it is valuable for spine surgeons to understand the potential legal impact of spine surgery. The most common complaint addressed in this study is inadequate consent. The findings in the present study highlight that in China, spine surgeons should pay more attention to communication with patients and perform spine surgery based on abnormal imaging as opposed to what the history and physical examination dictate, which can help reduce the litigation rate and improve the patient experience.

Keywords: Beijing; Medical malpractice litigation; Spine surgery; Verdict payout.

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Medical Malpractice Litigation After Spine Surgery in Beijing Between 2013 and 2018

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Abstract Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze the characteristics of alleged medical malpractice litigation involving spine surgery in Beijing between 2013 and 2018. Methods: Two online legal databases, Wusong and Weike, were queried for court verdicts involving spine surgery from January 2013 to December 2018 in Beijing. For all included cases, data…

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