Medical Malpractice Claims Investigated By the Medicolegal Consultation Center, Tanta University, Egypt (2008-2015)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Forensic Medicine & Clinical Toxicology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Egypt

2 Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Egypt


Medical malpractice is defined as lack of reasonable care and skills or negligence on the part of a medical practitioner in the treatment of a patient whereby the health or life of a patient is endangered. This study aimed to throw light on medical malpractice claims investigated by the Medicolegal Consultation Center (MLCC), Tanta University in order to understand the underlying causes of their events which is crucial to prevent their occurrence in the future. Characteristics of defendant physicians (gender, qualifications and specialty) were tabulated. Locations of health care settings were checked up. The causes of claims and the outcomes of the cases were graded (death, permanent infirmity or complications), then judgment on cases as positive or negative for malpractice was done based on several criteria. The studied claims showed that 88.2 % of defendant physicians were males. It was found that 47.1 % of defendant physicians were consultants, 35.3% were specialists, 5.9% were residents and the whole medical team was accused in 11.8% of the cases. Different specialties were claimed in this study; 23.5% of them were gynecologists and 17.6% were general surgeons. It was found that private hospitals and clinics were presented by 41.18%. Death was the outcome of 29.41% of the studied claims and 35.29% of the cases ended with permanent infirmities, also 35.29% ended with complications. Positive claims for malpractice were 23.53%, while 76.47% were negative for malpractice. The present study concluded that detailed investigation of medical malpractice claims revealed important data and offered an opportunity to physicians to benefit from previous recorded medical errors to be avoided.