Adverse respiratory events in anesthesia: a closed claims analysis.
A retrospective analysis of the American Society of Anesthesiology Closed Claims Study, this article describes the types of adverse outcomes for which claims were filed. The authors report that three mechanisms of injury (inadequate ventilation, esophageal intubation, and difficult tracheal intubation) accounted for three-fourths of the adverse respiratory events. They further describe the median costs of settlements awarded, characteristics of events in which care was deemed substandard, and claims in which the outcome was considered preventable. The authors advocate for a better understanding of respiratory risks and methods to more quickly collect data upon recognition of an adverse outcome.