Retained placental tissue as an emerging cause for malpractice claims

Moshe D. Fejgin, Tal Y. Shvit, Yael Gershtansky, Tal Biron-Shental

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Removal of retained placental tissue postpartum and retained products of conception (RPOC) abortion is done by uterine curettage or hysteroscopy. Trauma to the endometrium from surgical procedures, primarily curettage, can cause intrauterine adhesions (Asherman’s syndrome) and subsequent infertility. The incidence of malpractice claims relating to intrauterine adhesions is rising, justifying reevaluation of the optimal way of handling these complications.

Objectives: To review malpractice claims regarding intrauterine adhesions, and to explore the clinical approach that might reduce those claims or improve their medical and legal out comes.

Methods: We examined 42 Asherman’s syndrome claims handled by MCI, the largest professional liability insurer in Israel. The clinical chart of each case was reviewed and analyzed by the event preceding the adhesion formations, timing and mode of diagnosis, and outcome. We also assessed whether the adverse outcome was caused by substandard care and it it could have been avoided by different clinical practice. The legal outcome was also evaluated.

Results: Forty-seven percent of the cases occurred following vaginal delivery, 19% followed cesarean section, 28% were RPOC following a first-trimester pregnancy termination, and 2% followed a second-trimester pregnancy termination.

Conclusions: It is apparent that due to the lack of an accepted management protocol for cases of RPOC, it is difficult to legally defend those cases when the complication of Asherman syndrome develops.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-505
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume16
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Asherman’s syndrome
  • Intrauterine adhesions
  • Retained products of conception (RPOC)
  • litigation

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