The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 31, Issue 9, 1890 - 1893.e4

Hip Arthroplasty Malpractice Claims in the Netherlands: Closed Claim Study 2000-2012

Zengerink, Imme et al.
Hip

Background

A total hip arthroplasty (THA) is a successful and reliable operation with few complications. These complications however, do form a potential source for compensation claims. In the Netherlands, there are no studies available concerning filed claims after THA. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of claims related to THAs in the Netherlands and the reasons to claim, which claims lead to compensation, the costs involved for the insurer, and the demographics of the claimants.

Methods

In this observational study, we analyzed all closed claims from 2000 to 2012 from the national largest insurer of medical liability and compared it to data from our national implant registry in the Netherlands. With the intention to contribute to prevention, we have identified the demographics of the claimant, the reasons for filing claims, and the outcome of claims.

Results

Overall, 516 claims were expressed in 280 closed claim files after THA. Claims were most often related to sciatic nerve injury (19.6%). Most claimants were women (71.6%) with an average age of 63.1 years. The median cost per compensated claim is €5.921.

Conclusion

The claimant is more likely to be female and to be younger than the average patient receiving a THA. The incidence of a claim after a THA is 0.14%-0.30%. Nerve damage is the most common reason to file for compensation. The distribution in reasons to claim does not resemble the complication rate in literature after a THA. The outcome of this study can be used to improve patient care, safety, and costs.


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