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K. Domino, M.D., MPH, K. Posner, Ph.D., F.W. Cheney, M.D., L. Lee, M.D.
The Closed Claims Project is a project sponsored and conducted by the Professional Liability Committee of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. The study involves an in-depth investigation of closed insurance claims resulting from anesthetic mishaps, with the goal of identifying major areas of loss in anesthesia practice. Data is gathered in the form of detailed case summaries collected by ASA member anesthesiologists from insurance company claim records. Claims for dental injury, a very common, well-understood, and in most cases minor injury, have been excluded from the study. Claims in which the basic sequence of events and/or nature of the injury could not be reconstructed from the information in the insurance files have also been excluded. This results in most cases being collected from mishaps resulting in lawsuits, as files these cases contain the most extensive information. Cases have been collected from throughout the United States. There are currently over 7,000 claims in the database.