Common mistakes, negligence and legal offences in paediatric dentistry: a self-report.

Department of Paediatric Dentistry, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry. Official Journal of the European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry. 08/2011; 12(4):188-94. DOI: 10.1007/BF03262805
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To identify the type and relative prevalence of mistakes, negligence and legal offences (MNLOs) performed or nearly performed by paediatric dentists during their entire career.
The population consisted of 25 (29.4%) certified and 48 (56.5%) non-certified paediatric dentists, and 12 (14.1%) residents in paediatric dentistry. A structured anonymous questionnaire accessed occupational characteristics and frequencies of MNLOs (0, 1-4, 5-10, >10).
The most prevalent MNLOs related to the performance of radiographs: bite-wings with overlapping teeth (90%), overturned film (30%), film over-exposure (48%), faulty film development (84%) and exposure of the same side of film twice (32%). Other MNLOs were drilling an intact tooth (37%), misdiagnosing existing radiographic caries (63%), anaesthetising the wrong tooth (49%), accidental incision of the cheek/lips during treatment (73%), administering an incorrect dose of antibiotic (49%) or analgesics (24%), extracting the wrong tooth (15%), documenting the wrong tooth in the patient's file (63%), and a child swallowing an instrument (33%) or clasp (15%). Prevalent MNLOs included administering sedation to a child who had not fasted (32%), sedating without monitoring (9%), treating children without receiving signed parental consent (15%) and losing a radiograph (64%).
MNLOs occur commonly during various operative dental treatments. Means to raise awareness and to implement regulations should be addressed to limit these mistakes.

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    Dataset: 19601
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: The effort to increase patient safety has become one of the main focal points of all health care professions, despite the fact that, in the field of dentistry, initiatives have come late and been less ambitious. The main objective of patient safety is to avoid preventable adverse events to the greatest extent possible and to limit the negative consequences of those which are unpreventable. Therefore, it is essential to ascertain what adverse events occur in each dental care activity in order to study them in-depth and propose measures for prevention. Objectives: To ascertain the characteristics of the adverse events which originate from dental care, to classify them in accordance with type and origin, to determine their causes and consequences, and to detect the factors which facilitated their occurrence. Material and Method: This study includes the general data from the series of adverse dental vents of the Spanish Observatory for Dental Patient Safety (OESPO) after the study and analysis of 4,149 legal claims (both in and out of court) based on dental malpractice from the years of 2000 to 2010 in Spain. Results: Implant treatments, endodontics and oral surgery display the highest frequencies of adverse events in this series (25.5%, 20.7% and 20.4% respectively). Likewise, according to the results, up to 44.3% of the adverse events which took place were due to predictable and preventable errors and complications. Conclusion: A very significant percentage were due to foreseeable and preventable errors and complications that should not have occurred.
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May 21, 2014