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MALPRACTICE LINKED TO 7,000 DEATHS

A medical malpractice study by Harvard University researchers estimates negligence in New York hospitals contributed to 7,000 deaths and 29,000 injuries in 1984, but most victims never sue, according to a review of documents Monday.

The estimates, linked to negligence by doctors or other hospital employees, were based on the research team's review of 30,195 patients, a fraction of the 2.5 million hospital discharges that year. Of 306 (just over 1 percent) who were treated negligently, researchers said just eight filed malpractice suits.

If the study is accurate, a person has a better than 1-in-100 chance of getting negligent care while in the hospital.

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