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January 21, 2004

Definitions of Medical Injuries

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(3):303. doi:10.1001/jama.291.3.304-a

To the Editor: In the first several paragraphs of their article, Drs Zhan and Miller1 used 4 apparently interchangeable phrases: "medical injuries," "adverse events," "quality gaps," and "incidences of concern." In their analysis, the authors similarly conflated incidents that most physicians consider inevitable in a percentage of cases (eg, surgical infection and transfusion reaction) with injuries that are the result of gross negligence, such as a hip fracture sustained when the patient is dropped or death when the wrong dose of a drug is given.

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