1 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Akershus University Hospital, Lørenskog, Norway
2 Medical Faculty, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
3 Department of Health Management and Health Economics, The Medical Faculty, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Distal radial fracture is the most common fracture in humans.
The purpose of the present study was to assess the compensation claims filed to The Norwegian System of Patient Injury Compensation (NPE) after the treatment of distal radial fractures from 2000 through June 2013.
Data received by the NPE were collected and categorized into groups depending on acceptance or rejection of the claim. In both groups, the cases were systemized according to the type of primary treatment, either operative or conservative. Patient demographics were recorded, along with the patient´s reason(s) for the compensation claim, registered complications and the NPE´s reason(s) for the acceptance or rejection of the claim.
Eight hundred compensation claims were received. Forty-three percent of claims were granted, of which 71% had been treated conservatively and 29% had received surgical treatment. Pain was the most common complaint. There were a higher number of upheld claims in hospitals with a population area of less than 100,000 people as opposed to larger hospitals.
The most common cause for compensation was delayed intervention when reduction was lost after conservative treatment. Most of the compensations after surgery were due to wrong technique. Only 30 patients with upheld claims received volar plating. Pain is not a valid reason for compensation on its own. There is a higher risk of ending up with a complication that leads to compensation if the patient is treated in a small hospital.
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* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Akershus University Hospital, Lørenskog, Norway; Tel: +47 67960000; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org