Medical Malpractice in Turkey: Pediatric Cases Resulting in Death

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Hösükler E., Üzün İ., Melez İ. E., Hösükler B., Elevli M.

TURKISH ARCHIVES OF PEDIATRICS, vol.56, no.6, pp.631-637, 2021 (ESCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 56 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.5152/turkarchpediatr.2021.21152
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.631-637
  • Bezmialem Vakıf University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Malpractice in medicine refers to the failure of a physician to meet a standard of diagnosis and treatment, damages/injuries caused by reprehensible ignorance, or negligence of a doctor.

Methods: Allegedly malpractice cases of pediatricians and the cases in which causal link between malpractice and death was confirmed by the decision of the First Board of Specialization of the Council of Forensic Medicine between the dates of Januray 1, 2012 and December 31, 2014 were analyzed retrospectively.

Results: The study revealed that in the majority of 286 cases, the infants were 0-28 days old (n = 115; 40.2%) and were hospitalized due to respiratory problems (n = 111; 38.8%). The allegations of malpractice cases were most frequently seen in private hospitals (n = 120; 42%). Malpractice was found in 17.5% of the cases (n = 50), in which the majority of cased were proved to be diagnostic errors (n = 24; 48%). The most common diagnostic error was the misdiagnosis of “healthy child” in medical malpractice cases (n = 11, 22%).

Conclusions: In conclusion, it is considered to be important for the pediatricians to maintain proper communication with the relatives of the patients while monitoring their health condition, and pediatricians are expected to be more careful—especially in the diagnostic phase—in the cases involving 0-1 age group as children are most likely to be diagnosed as healthy in this age group.