Journal of Otology & RhinologyISSN: 2324-8785

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Case Report, J Otol Rhinol Vol: 3 Issue: 1

Cases and Medico-Legal Aspects Regarding Bilateral Iatrogenic Injury of the Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve

Rosario Barranco1, Tommaso D’Anna1, Antonina Argo1*,Francesco Cupido2, Gianfranco Cupido3 and Paolo Procaccianti1
1University of Palermo, Department of Biopathology, Medical Biotechnologies and Forensic Section of Legal Medicine, Palermo, Italy
2University of Palermo, Department of Surgery, Oncology and stomatologic, Palermo, Italy
3University of Palermo, Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neuroscience, Section of Otolaryngology, Palermo, Italy
Corresponding author : Antonina Argo
University of Palermo, Department of Biopathology, Medical Biotechnologies and Forensic Section of Legal Medicine, 129, del Vespro Street, 90127, Palermo, Italy
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: October 02, 2013 Accepted: December 05, 2013 Published: December 12, 2013
Citation: Barranco R, Anna T D, Argo A, Cupido F, Cupido G et al., (2013) Cases and Medico-Legal Aspects Regarding Bilateral Iatrogenic Injury of the Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve. J Otol Rhinol 3:1. doi:10.4172/2324-8785.1000141

Abstract

Cases and Medico-Legal Aspects Regarding Bilateral Iatrogenic Injury of the Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve

On the basis of the observation of 5 cases of recurrent nerve paralysis in patients undergoing surgical thyroidectomy, the authors evaluate the medicolegal implications related to the onset of this serious complication deriving from surgical operations in the thyroid gland. We describe the possible surgical techniques to preserve and not damage the RLN, in the course of a surgical procedure involving the thyroid gland. The medicolegal evaluation examines the possibility to detect, in the different cases analyzed, a surgical malpractice that might entails the existence of a professional responsibility, distinguishing this situation from cases in which the error can be defined as “excusable.” We also have considered the importance of informed consent and of the medical chart, which is the main tool to evaluate the conduct of the surgeon.

Keywords: Thyroidectomy; Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Palsy; Professional Liability; Guidelines

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