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Causes and Outcomes of Medicolegal Proceedings Following Gastrointestinal Endoscopy in Canada

  • Author Footnotes
    ∗ Designates Co-first authorship
    Souvik Maiti
    Footnotes
    ∗ Designates Co-first authorship
    Affiliations
    Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary AB CANADA
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  • Author Footnotes
    ∗ Designates Co-first authorship
    Stephen E. Congly
    Correspondence
    Correspondence: Stephen E. Congly, MD, MSc, FRCPC, FACP, AGAF, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, 6th Floor, Cal Wenzel Precision Health Building, 3280 Hospital Drive NW Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1 Canada. Telephone: 403-592-5049; Fax: 403-592-5090.
    Footnotes
    ∗ Designates Co-first authorship
    Affiliations
    Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary AB CANADA

    O’Brien Institute of Public Health, University of Calgary, Calgary AB CANADA
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  • Christopher Ma
    Affiliations
    Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary AB CANADA

    O’Brien Institute of Public Health, University of Calgary, Calgary AB CANADA

    Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary AB CANADA
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  • Karen Olympia-Sy
    Affiliations
    Palo Alto, CA, USA
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  • Lorian Hardcastle
    Affiliations
    O’Brien Institute of Public Health, University of Calgary, Calgary AB CANADA

    Faculty of Law, University of Calgary, Calgary AB CANADA
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  • Author Footnotes
    # Designates Co-senior authorship
    Melanie P. Stapleton
    Footnotes
    # Designates Co-senior authorship
    Affiliations
    Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary AB CANADA
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  • Author Footnotes
    # Designates Co-senior authorship
    Nauzer Forbes
    Footnotes
    # Designates Co-senior authorship
    Affiliations
    Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary AB CANADA

    O’Brien Institute of Public Health, University of Calgary, Calgary AB CANADA

    Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary AB CANADA
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  • Author Footnotes
    ∗ Designates Co-first authorship
    # Designates Co-senior authorship
Open AccessPublished:September 14, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gastha.2022.09.001
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      Abstract

      Background and Aims

      Endoscopic procedures are frequently performed in Canada but can be associated with potential complications and medicolegal implications. This study aimed to identify potential medicolegal cases in Canada relating to upper and lower endoscopy as well as advanced endoscopic procedures.

      Methods

      Westlaw Canada was searched for any cases regarding upper and lower endoscopy and advanced endoscopic procedures from inception to December 31, 2020. Cases were classified by type of case, procedure performed, patient and defendant demographics, outcome, and alleged reason for litigation/complaint.

      Results

      29 civil cases and 9 board and tribunal decisions for upper and lower endoscopy and 3 advanced endoscopic procedure cases were analyzed. The most frequent defendant specialities were family physician, general surgery, and gastroenterology. The plaintiff was successful in 12 cases involving upper or lower endoscopy with an average award of $243,934 (2021 CDN). The most alleged reasons for litigation were procedural error or negligence (n=19). The plaintiff was successful in 1 advanced endoscopic procedure case with an award of $153,031.72.

      Conclusion

      Medicolegal cases regarding gastrointestinal endoscopy in Canada occur infrequently. Endoscopy should be performed by skilled providers with appropriate informed consent from the patient, and careful consideration of whether procedures are indicated are key for endoscopic providers.

      Keywords