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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 185-189

Evaluation of Medical Malpractice Litigations in China, 2002-2011

1 Collaborative Innovation Center of Judicial Civilization; Department of Forensic Clinical Medicine, Key Laboratory of Evidence Science, China University of Political Science and Law, Ministry of Education, Beijing, China
2 Department of Forensic Medicine, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, China
3 Forensic Science Center, East China University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai, China

Correspondence Address:
Ling Li
Collaborative Innovation Center of Judicial Civilization, Beijing; Key Laboratory of Evidence Science, China University of Political Science and Law, Ministry of Education, Beijing
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2349-5014.197931

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In the past 10 years, medical malpractice litigations have become a serious public health and social issues in China. This study aims to evaluate the medical malpractice litigations in Beijing. A retrospective study was conducted using the database from the Key Laboratory of Evidence Science (KLES) at China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) to demonstrate the extent and characteristics of the alleged medical malpractice cases and the conclusions of forensic evaluation from 2002 to 2011 in Beijing. A total of 1515 alleged medical malpractice cases were investigated by forensic medical experts at KLES-CUPL during the study period. Of the 1515 cases, 45.2% were male patients and 54.8% were female patients. The age of the patients ranged from newborn to 90 years, with average age of 44 years. The alleged medical malpractice cases involved 11.3% of newborns. From 2002 to 2006, the average number of medical malpractice litigations was 123 cases per year, while from 2007 to 2011, the average number of medical malpractice litigations was 180 per year, a 46% increase. Of the 1515 cases, 588 (38.8%) litigations were due to the patients' death. Clinical departments involved in claims most often were obstetrics (18.9%), followed by orthopedics (15.1%) and general surgery (11.5%). Medical error was found in 945 (62.4%) cases. Of the 945 confirmed medical malpractice cases, the top medical misadventures were diagnostic errors (36.5%), improper performance of procedures (36.4%), and medication error (12.6%). Although tertiary hospitals were more likely to be sued than the secondary and primary hospitals (63.6% vs. 36.4%), there was no significant difference between tertiary and secondary hospitals in the percentage of confirmed malpractice cases (62.3% vs. 59.4%). The primary hospitals had the highest confirmed malpractice cases (73.2%).

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