One in two medical errors lead to death with general surgeons, obstetricians, gynecologists and physicians be the most common responsible specialties, according to a study presented at the 22nd Congress of the International Academy of forensic experts.

Greece's Supreme Court awarded one 37-year old woman who lost sight in one eye because of the tragic mistake of a dentist. The social worker was compensated with 30,000 euros for medical error, as the Supreme Court upheld a decision by the Appeal Court.

The event took place in August 2002 when she visited the dentist for a root canal treatment. After completion of the procedure, the doctor had to sterilize the tooth using calcium hydroxide, which is caustic. The dentist used a metallic syringe, instead of a special plastic syringe provided for this purpose, but when he attempted to pour the material to the tooth he failed and asked the assistant for another syringe. He did not find one, however, and made a second attempt with the same tool. Because he did not take the necessary measures and not warned the woman to keep her eyes closed, the material ejected with force and entered the left eye, causing a burn of the cornea and conjunctiva.

EUR 400.00 compensation for medical mistake leading to death of 27years old
After a 10 years court battle Greece's Supreme Court awarded EUR 400,000 as compensation to the parents of a 27year old girl. She had entered the hospital Corgialeneion – Benaki for a simple surgery of tonsil removal, but by mistake of an anesthesiologist she suffered cardiac arrest and brain necrosis, came in coma for 36 days and eventually lost her battle with life.

At 30 billion Dollars annually is estimated the cost of medical errors in America, in Britain the equivalent amount reaches 400 million Pounds, while in Greece an up to date study up shows a relevantly equally serious status.
A specific initiative in order to reflect the problem in our country, has been undertaken over the last period by the Piraeus University which conducts a research that is underway and which is expected to be completed within two years. The research team, however, has already made a thorough analysis of the content, policies and decisions of 259 administrative courts on medical liability litigation cases over the past 10 years.

The Supreme Court forced an obstetrician-gynecologist to pay the amount of € 584.400 to the relatives of the woman who died shortly before the birth of third child due to medical error.This amount was paid due to mental anguish suffered by her relatives (two minor children, wife, mother, siblings) and due to lack of maternal care of the two underage children.

The Administrative Thessaloniki Court of Appeals with its decision of 2013 adjudicated the sum of 800.000€ in damages to a 25-year-old woman who had been infected by the AIDS virus, following a blood transfusion in Hippocrates Hospital in 2005 when she was 18 years.

600.000 € compensation to be paid by Evangelismos hospital in Athens for patient death due to infection in the intensive care unit. The case is very important because 1,000 patients are estimated to die in Greece every year from this cause. This high number ranks Greece in a distinctive negative position within European Union. It is estimated that in European Union 37,000 people die each year due to such causes.

Non-material damage or Moral damage or Non material Harm and Pain and suffering or Mental anguish or Mental Distress or Pretium Doloris are concepts that are often confused.
Although they have commonalities, their differences in the way in Greek law are handled are distinctive. Moral Damage (which is a broader concept) includes the Mental Distress (as narrower concept).
In an accident, apart from physical damage which is relatively easy to be defined, there are damages, such as non-material damages and mental anguish that a court must assess, Something that is not easy because it harms legitimate goods, such as the personality, the physical health and integrity, the reputation, the honor etc. of a person.

It concerns the relatives of a 20 years old soldier of armored vehicles from Thessaloniki who died in Alexandroupolis due to medical error. The military and administrative courts awarded the total sum of € 839.000 as compensation for mental anguish to parents and other relatives.

Wrong diagnosis can be caused when doctors either are not aware or do not take into account drug side effects when prescribing a drug or examining a patient. Especially when they refer to rarer syndromes or illnesses with which some doctors have little or no exposure at all. However, side effects are an inevitable reality. Even if they affect a very low percent of patients, it is certain that some will react negatively and doctors have the obligation to be aware and follow the reaction of their patients. Expert witnessing in such cases is particularly demanding because of few qualifying experts in the specific field but it is paramount in any legal claim.

A final, historic decision-vindication for a series of errors and omissions of a Greek public hospital. One more claim case of medical negligence which with thorough medical documentation and combative legal support brings satisfactory results, even if it took 10 years. The amount relates to moral damage, loss of income, costs of hospitalization but also to interest which due to the long period of time, is a very important part of the total compensation.

The Higher First Instance Court of Thessaloniki, with its 16591/2015 decision, awarded to a 71 years old lady the amount of € 572,000 as compensation and imposed to the defendants a € 28,000 contribution to legal costs. The Court also assigned as directly enforceable the amount of € 250,000.

The 1st Department of the Greek State Council ratified a decision by the Administrative Court of Ioannina and awarded an indemnity for medical mistake to both parents, siblings, the grandfather and the grandmother of an infant of 4 months the amount of € 350,000.

The verdict of the Athens Court of Appeal granted indemnity of € 205,050 to the newborn daughter of a 42-year-old mother who died of a medical mistake, for mental anguish as well as for financial support, € 87,500 to her grandmother who took custody and the task of upbringing the child and € 56,250 to the sister of the deceased.



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