Are errors in otorhinolaryngology always a sign of medical malpractice? Review of the literature and new perspectives in the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) era
In medical practice, during certain procedures that usually are not regarded highly demanding, some skill-based errors, that might not be considered as medical malpractice, may occur. In fact, such errors can be caused by factors beyond the physician’s control.A review of Greek case law regarding medical malpractice in otorhinolaryngology was performed to identify cases of lawsuits that concerned medical errors during routine procedures. The analysis of the cases showed that some medical errors may cause serious complications, even if deviation from the standard of medical care is minimal. Thus, in some cases it may be difficult to make a distinction between preventable and unpreventable complications. Certain medical errors from routine medical procedures might be considered unpreventable and, therefore, classified as almost no-fault errors. A brief commentary regarding opportunities to further improve the medical liability system after the SARS-CoV-2 emergency is also given.