Nordic Countries: Principles of Safe Practice in Local and Regional Anesthesia
All the Nordic countries have a public, primarily tax-paid healthcare system. Also the legal arrangements to deal with complaints are similar. All countries have patient insurance schemes in order to regulate patient rights to economic compensation when injuries have been inflicted by medical staff.
Patient Insurance Centre promotes patient safety by carrying out research, making calculations, and compiling statistics. This database has produced studies of anesthesia complications at least in Denmark and Finland.
Studies of Danish Patient Insurance Association data show that, over an 8-year period, approximately 400,000 anesthesia procedures were performed and, of these, 916 claims were made, with 132 resulting in financial compensation from regional anesthesia procedures. Additionally, 24 cases over a 9-year period were found to result in death following a regional anesthesia procedure. In both studies, all major complications followed neuraxial blockade.
In Sweden, Dr. Moen and colleagues published a broadly referred article on severe neuraxial complications which were collected from the information in the Swedish health care system.
A study of anesthesia complications in Sweden demonstrated the disparity in reporting complications between patient insurance databases and anesthesia departments. Finnish studies reveal that the activity of reporting claims increased when the insurance system was relatively new but is now stabilized, likely resulting in more reliable data.
KeywordsRegional anesthesia complications Spinal hematoma Epidural Abscess Thrombosis prophylaxis Nordic Countries
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