Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition) Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition)
Rev Esp Cardiol. 2012;65:801-6 - Vol. 65 Num.09 DOI: 10.1016/j.rec.2012.02.020

Analysis of Judgments in the Practice of Cardiology Resolved on Appeal in Spain Between 1992 and 2007

Andrés Santiago-Sáez a,b,, Bernardo Perea-Pérez b, Maria Elena Albarrán-Juan b, Elena Labajo-González b, María José Anadón-Baselga b, Jesus Almendral-Garrote c

a Servicio de Medicina Legal, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain
b Escuela de Medicina Legal, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain
c Unidad de Electrofisiología Cardiaca y Arritmología Clínica, Grupo Hospital de Madrid, Universidad CEU San Pablo, Madrid, Spain

Refers to

Professional Liability in Cardiology
Josep Arimany-Manso
Rev Esp Cardiol. 2012;65:788-90
Full text - PDF

Keywords

Judgment. Claims. Conviction. Compensation. Coronary syndromes.

Abstract

Introduction and objectives

The increase in the prosecution of health issues in Spain has increased the interest in legal claims against physicians. Our objective is to analyze the judgments issued in relation to cardiology practice in Spain in recent years.

Methods

We analyzed the 1899 sanitary judicial sentences issued in Spain in the second instance or later during the period 1992 to 2007. The data sheet includes 25 administrative, clinical, and judicial variables. In addition to a descriptive study, comparative analysis was performed on selected variables.

Results

There were 32 sentences in the field of cardiology, 31% decided for the plaintiff and with an award amount never exceeding 365 000 euros. The most frequent clinical diagnosis is coronary syndrome (50%). There is a significant statistical relationship (P<.004) between physician specialty and reason for the claim: the most frequent causes (misdiagnosis and malpractice) affected predominantly noncardiologists, while defects in information or informed consent (9.5% of cases) affected cardiologists exclusively. Patient death occurred in 75% of cases.

Conclusions

Despite cardiology being a “low-risk discipline” compared to others, the litigant activity has increased dramatically in recent years. Causes for the claims are related to the specialty of the involved physician; misdiagnosis and/or malpractice and defects in information should be emphasized, the former for its frequency and the latter for its novelty.

1885-5857/© 2012 Sociedad Española de Cardiología. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved

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