Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Laparoscopy complications

Understating under-reporting

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 08 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d793
  1. Frank W Arnold, doctor1
  1. 1Reading RG6 1QB, UK
  1. arnold_frank{at}

Lamont and colleagues’ article contains a masterful understatement: “Between April 2005 and April 2010, the NPSA [National Patient Safety Agency] received reports of 11 deaths and 37 serious incidents in patients who had deteriorated after laparoscopic surgery. These incidents are probably greatly under-reported.”1

A survey of members of the Association of Laparoscopic Surgeons last year found 31 reports of deaths and 333 serious injuries.2 Data from the NHS Litigation Authority showed 327 successful claims for such injuries over …

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