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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 7(4); 1996 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 1996;7(4): 488-495.
ANALYSIS OF MALPRACTICE CLAIMS IN EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT
In Byung Kim, Sang Weon Chung, Seok Joon Jang, Hahn Shick Lee
Department of Emergency Medicine Yonsei University Medical College
  Published online: December 1, 1996.
ABSTRACT
This study reviewed 48 malpractice claims of emergency patients filed in two tertiary level hospitals and at Association of malpractice patients' family. Problems related to treatment and misdiagnosis each accounted for 18 (38%) and 19 (39%) of all claims. Especially issues concerning emergency medical service system including of inadequate transport, delay in triage and transport accounted for 9 cases (19%) of all claims. But in patients' aspect, the malpractices more problems associated with treatment (77%) than misdiagnosis (13%). The claims were analyzed according to hospital levels, primary, secondary (27 problems) and tertiary hospital (21 problems). Comparison of the causes of malpractice claims against primary, secondary and tertiary hospitals resulted in more misdiagnosis claims against primary, secondary hospitals than tertiary hospitals. The symptoms associated with the claims were in order of abdominal pain (29.7%), dyspnea (13.5%), chest pain (10.8%), fracture and wound (10.8%). 83.3% of medico-legal accidents of emergency patients result in deaths (40 cases) where as 22% in non-e mergency patients result in deaths. This alerts us to the seriousness of medical accidents of emergency patient.
Key words: Malpractice claims, Emergency patients, Emergency medical service system
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