Spinal Epidural Abscess: A Case Study Review

Program Description

In reviewing closed malpractice claims, The Doctors Company identified missed or delayed diagnosis of Spinal Epidural Abscess as a reoccurring problem. This course defines the problems associated with diagnosing and treating spinal epidural abscess and identifies the most frequent type of risk and the severity of losses, as well as strategies to overcome these risks. The course is primarily designed for physicians and advanced practice providers practicing in the hospital setting.  


After completing this activity, learners will be able to:

  • Recognize the clinical challenges that often delay a diagnosis of spinal epidural abscess (SEA) and result in severe injury or death for a patient. 
  • Identify two strategies that can reduce the risk for a malpractice claim related to SEA. 
  • Reflect on patients I treat and identify improvements in my practice that can reduce the chances of a patient injury related to the diagnosis or treatment of SEA.


No individual in a position to control or influence the content of this activity has reported relevant financial relationships with commercial interests. No commercial support was provided for this activity. 

Course Developers

Kathleen Stillwell, MPA/HAS, RN, CPHRM, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctor Company

Julie Hopkins, MA, MBA, Director, Continuing Medical Education, Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company

Continuing Education Credit

The Doctors Company is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education activities for physicians.

The Doctors Company designates this enduring material activity for a maximum of .75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The Doctors Company estimates one hour for completion of this course. A passing score of 80 percent or greater is required to successfully complete the activity and earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Course ID#: TDE 18017.0
Issue Date for This Activity: 02/05/2018
Expiration Date for This Activity: 02/05/2021


The information and guidelines contained in this enduring material activity are generalized and may not apply to all practice situations. The faculty recommends that legal advice be obtained from a qualified attorney for specific application to your practice. The information is intended for educational purposes only.

Complies with State Requirements

Please SEE the Federation of State Medical Boards overview of Continuing Medical Education requirements by State. 

Technical Requirements

This activity is best experienced using the most current browser (or one back) of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. Internet Explorer is not supported by this platform. For all activities featuring audio you must have a sound card and speakers. To view graphic images and references that appear in separate "pop-up" windows, you must have JavaScript and session cookies enabled on your computer.  Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required for certain activities.


Click Here to download a PDF with resources related to this program.

Contact Us

If you have questions, contact educationsupport@thedoctors.com or call 800.421.2368, extension 1243.