Facial plast Surg 2019; 35(06): 657-665
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1700798
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Medicolegal Aspects of Craniofacial Trauma

Nima Vahidi
1  Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond, Virginia
,
2  Otolaryngology and Facial Plastic Surgery Associates, Fort Worth, Texas
,
Thomas Lee
1  Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond, Virginia
,
Jared Inman
3  Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California
,
Yadranko Ducic
2  Otolaryngology and Facial Plastic Surgery Associates, Fort Worth, Texas
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
29 November 2019 (online)

Abstract

Characterization of complications in facial trauma management is of special interest to practitioners of facial trauma surgery. It is important for facial trauma surgeons to not only understand the standard of care, but also the pitfalls that can expose them to litigation. Litigation within the realm of facial trauma surgery often manifests from issues with poor communication, inadequate informed consent processes, and poor surgical management. In this analysis, we comprehensively examine malpractice litigation in facial trauma surgery, and outline important factors for surgeons to consider in the care of this patient population. It is important for facial trauma surgeons to understand medicolegal issues within their scope of practice. These include principles of informed consent, state regulated statutes of limitation, and Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act laws. This analysis emphasizes the importance of exercising appropriate patient care, understanding the indications for surgery, and seeking counsel when necessary.