Ophthalmic medicolegal cases in Upper Egypt

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PURPOSE: To describe the pattern of ophthalmic medicolegal cases with emphasis on cases of assault, and to acquaint ophthalmologists with rules pertaining to expert testimony and medical reports. METHODS: A retrospective study was carried out to review files of 247 medicolegal cases from Upper Egypt seen by the senior author in 8 years. These were classified categorically and were analyzed from various characteristics and aspects. The scheme for examination of subjects and for formulating the medicolegal report is described. RESULTS: The different categories were assault in 224 cases (90.5%), military recruitment evasion in 8 cases (3.25%), occupational disability claims in 8 cases (3.25%) and medical malpractice in 7 cases (3%). Thirty two cases (13%) presented with alleged functional visual loss, of them 25 cases (10%) were malingering. Traumatic lens subluxation or dislocation was seen in 37 (13.5%) cases and phthisis and atrophia bulbi was the presenting sign in 55 (22.3%) cases. Twenty percent of assault cases were females. There were no differences in incidence between the provinces in Upper Egypt. Assault tools inflicted injuries are described, as well as the outcome of these cases. Claims against military recruits could not be substantiated. Occupational claims for damages were false. Alleged medical negligence cases were rejected based on accepted standards of care and not on unexpected complications. CONCLUSION: Medical reports have to be structured, detailed, accurate and unbiased. Data in this work are useful for statistical and planning purposes in the medicolegal domain.




Wasfy, I. A., Wasfy, E. I., Aly, T. A., & Abd-Elsayed, A. A. (2009). Ophthalmic medicolegal cases in Upper Egypt. International Archives of Medicine, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1755-7682-2-1

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