Public Release: 

Side effects severely underreported in ENT medical journals

New research released at world's largest ENT meeting

American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Chicago, IL - Harms and adverse events (untoward side effects of surgery or medicine) have been under-reported or poorly described at an alarming low rate by the publishing authors in the four leading otolaryngology medical journals, according to new research presented at the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in Chicago, IL.

In a review of 1,835 articles from the four journals, at separate points of time (1996 and 2006), researchers at SUNY Downstate Medical Center determined that nearly a third (31 percent) of clinical research articles contained no mention of adverse or harm events, while more than half (53 percent) failed to explicitly describe these events. Furthermore, over 76 percent of the articles in question failed to describe the methodology in collecting adverse event date.

The authors believe this information is significant because of the increasing role that harms and adverse events have played in medical decision making. Harms often serve as the pre-eminent issues that arise in making guideline recommendations.

The authors note that because these results mirror those found in other medical fields, there is a widespread need for improvement within the medical community at large in reporting harms and adverse events.


Title: Harm and Adverse Events in Otolaryngology Journals
Authors: Haidy A. Bibawy, MD (presenter); Anne Cossu; Sophia Kogan, MD; Richard M. Rosenfeld, MD, MPH
Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 10:14 am (all times CDT)

Information for the Media:

The AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO newsroom will be located in Room 265, Lakeside Level 2, McCormick Place Convention Center. Hours of operation: Saturday, September 20, 12 pm to 5 pm; Sunday - Tuesday, September 21 - 23, 7:30 am to 5 pm; and Wednesday, September 24, 7:30 am to 2 pm. The newsroom serves as a work space for credentialed members of the media and credentialed public relations staff. The newsroom is managed and staffed by the AAO-HNS Communications Unit. Please see the AAO-HNS website for media credentialing requirements for the event.

About the AAO-HNS

The American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (, one of the oldest medical associations in the nation, represents more than 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy serves its members by facilitating the advancement of the science and art of medicine related to otolaryngology and by representing the specialty in governmental and socioeconomic issues. The organization's vision: "Empowering otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons to deliver the best patient care."

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