n Southern African Journal of Critical Care - Malpractice in the intensive care unit : editorial

Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-8264
  • E-ISSN: 2078-676X



Error in the intensive care unit (ICU) is a well-documented and common problem. This is understandable when one looks at the complexity of critical illness combined with the range of invasive and potentially dangerous interventions that are routinely used there. Until recently medical malpractice claims arising from alleged mismanagement in the ICU were rare, but there has been an increase in such claims in South Africa, with several High Court cases currently pending. The old assumption that intensive care saves lives and any injury or mishap that occurs in the process is therefore 'par for the course' no longer holds sway.

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