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Adverse Event and Complication Management in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Richter, James M MD, MA1; Kelsey, Peter B MD1; Campbell, Emily J MPH1

American Journal of Gastroenterology: March 2016 - Volume 111 - Issue 3 - p 348–352
doi: 10.1038/ajg.2015.423

Gastrointestinal endoscopy is a remarkably safe set of diagnostic and therapeutic techniques, and yet a small number of significant complications and adverse events are expected. Serious complications may have a material effect on the patient’s health and well-being. They need to be anticipated and prevented if possible and managed effectively when identified. When complications occur they need to be discussed frankly with patients and their families. Informed consent, prevention, early detection, reporting, and systems improvement are critical aspects of effective complication management. Optimal complication management may improve patient satisfaction and outcome, as well as preserving the reputation and confidence of the endoscopist, and may minimize litigation.

1Gastroenterology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Correspondence: James M. Richter, MD, MA, Gastroenterology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 55 Fruit Street, Blake 4, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA. E-mail:

Received 19 January 2015; accepted 13 November 2015

Guarantor of the article: James M. Richter, MD, MA.

Specific author contributions: Conceived and designed the review, conducted literature reviews, and lead author in drafting the manuscript: James M. Richter. Editing and final approval of manuscript: Peter B. Kelsey. Editing and final approval of manuscript: Emily J. Campbell.

Financial support: None.

Potential competing interests: None.

© The American College of Gastroenterology 2016. All Rights Reserved.
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