Acta Orthopaedica, 91:1, 20-25

Only 8% of major preventable adverse events after hip arthroplasty are filed as claims: a Swedish multi-center cohort study on 1,998 patients

Martin Magnéli, Maria Unbeck, Bodil Samuelsson, Cecilia Rogmark, Ola Rolfson, Max Gordon & Olof Sköldenberg

Background and purpose — Hip arthroplasty is one of the most performed surgeries in Sweden, and the rate of adverse events (AEs) is fairly high. All patients in publicly financed healthcare in Sweden are insured by the Mutual Insurance Company of Swedish County Councils (Löf). We assessed the proportion of patients that sustained a major preventable AE and filed an AE claim to Löf.

Patients and methods — We performed retrospective record review using the Global Trigger Tool to identify AEs in a Swedish multi-center cohort consisting of 1,998 patients with a total or hemi hip arthroplasty. We compared the major preventable AEs with all patient-reported claims to Löf from the same cohort and calculated the proportion of filed claims.

Results — We found 1,066 major preventable AEs in 744 patients. Löf received 62 claims for these AEs, resulting in a claim proportion of 8%. 58 of the 62 claims were accepted by Löf and received compensation. The claim proportion was 13% for the elective patients and 0.3% for the acute patients. The most common AE for filing a claim was periprosthetic joint infection; of the 150 infections found 37 were claimed.

Interpretation — The proportion of filed claims for major preventable AEs is very low, even for obvious and serious AEs such as periprosthetic joint infection.

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