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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2019 Mar 12. doi: 10.1111/aogs.13605. [Epub ahead of print]

Approved claims for compensation from gynecological patients in Norway-What characterizes the cases? A 14-year nationwide study.

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Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Olav's Hospital, University Hospital of Trondheim, Trondheim, Norway.
Department of Gynecology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
Norwegian System of Patient Injury Compensation, Oslo, Norway.
Department of Surgery, Akershus University Hospital, Lørenskog, Norway.



The Norwegian System of Patient Injury Compensation (NPE) evaluates all patient-reported claims in Norway. Our aim was to study the cases from gynecological patients approved by NPE in order to identify the main reasons for the injuries, the consequences of the treatment failure for the women, and the time course when the treatment failure occurred.


A retrospective, descriptive study of approved gynecological compensation claims during a 14-year period, based on patient files from NPE.


In all, 1454 women claimed compensation for injury related to gynecological treatment in Norway from 2000 to 2013. Compensation was approved for 438 (30.1%) women. Eleven women declined participation in the study and 16 cases were excluded, leaving 411 cases for further analyses. Consent to participate was given by 211 (51.3%) women, who gave full access to all their NPE files. Anonymized resumes and expert statements were used for the 138 (33.6%) women who did not respond and the 62 (15.1%) women who were deceased. Guidelines or good clinical practice were not followed in 40.5% of the cases. The most common reasons for injury were surgical complications (67.6%), delayed (22.4%) and incorrect (17.0%) diagnoses, and failure of communication (11.7%). The main consequences of injuries were need for extensive treatment (64.2%), permanent injury (55.2%) and impaired physical ability (41.9%). Worsening of cancer prognosis occurred in 58 women (14.1%) and death due to treatment failure in 29 (7.1%) women. Most failures occurred during the treatment period (75.2%).


We found that the main reason for injuries in gynecological patients was non-adherence to guidelines or good clinical practice. Surgery-related injuries were most common. Increased focus on adherence to guidelines and surgical skills might improve patient safety for gynecological patients in Norway.


Norwegian System of Patient Injury Compensation; compensation; failure; guidelines; gynecology; substandard health care


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