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Category Archives: Medical Malpractice

IL injury lawyerIn 1999, the medical community was rocked by a report prepared by the Institute of Medicine which classified the problem of medical errors as an epidemic. That report concluded that approximately 95,000 people died each year from preventable medical mistakes. The annual cost to medical facilities was determined to be between $17 billion and $29 billion.

Although the Institute of Medicine’s report prompted much debate over the years regarding what could be done to protect patients, a more recent report prepared by researchers from John Hopkins University found that the medical community might not have had too much success in doing so. In fact, preventable medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in this country.

Disturbing Numbers

Unlike the 1999 report, which relied upon data from just one study, the Johns Hopkins report used data collected from four major studies. Two of these studies were from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, during the years 2000 to 2008.

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IL malpractice lawyerWhen regular visits to a doctor’s office are a habit, the first sign of life-threatening illnesses can be detected. Most medical professionals have their patient's best interests in mind, but mistakes do happen. When a mistake has been made, or a patient is second-guessing their treatment, it can be difficult to determine the difference between medical malpractice and the sometimes uncertainty of medicine.

A woman in Oak Park was recently awarded $50 million in a settlement against West Suburban Medical Center. The birth of her baby in 2014 resulted in the child having severe brain damage. Although a representative from the hospital claimed that appropriate action was taken during the natural birth, experts in the medical malpractice trial testified that a cesarean section would have prevented injuries to the child. An ultrasound showing that the child did not move for six hours during labor was ignored by medical staff, and the mother expressed concerns to her doctor that she could not feel the unborn baby move. Today, the child is five-years-old and is unable to sit, stand, or talk.

Brain damage to a baby during birth can be caused by physical injury or a lack of oxygen. If a child cannot safely have a vaginal birth, or if a problem arises such as the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck, a doctor will often choose to perform a cesarean section. Making this decision at the correct time is crucial to the health of mother and child.

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IL malpractice attorneyDuring some personal injury cases, it is quick to know when someone is negligent. A drunk driver would be breaking the law or a tired truck driver would be going over their hours. However, medical care is more subjective, and negligence may not be learned until later on. Unfortunately, sometimes this means that people with early stages of deadly progressive diseases are not diagnosed until it is too late. When is it too late to report medical malpractice?

Doctors and other medical professionals are supposed to operate under a medical standard of care. Although there is no concrete definition for this standard of care, it is used to compare a doctor’s actions regarding a situation where malpractice is claimed. For example, in a courtroom it is defined by expert testimony, and how the doctor's actions compare to a reasonably competent doctor with the same resources. Best practices and medical standards may develop over time with medical advances and knowledge.

A doctor making a mistake may not necessarily mean they are negligent. Illnesses can have many symptoms that overlap, making it hard to get a concrete diagnosis. The important part is that the doctor’s actions did not cause harm. For example, if a doctor diagnosed a patient and started treatment, but a test came to show it was something else and the doctor switched treatment, they likely would not be found to be negligent. If the doctor purposely ignored the test results, and the patient fell severely ill without the correct treatment, it may be malpractice.

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IL nursing home abuse lawyerIn an ideal world, we could take care of our loved ones as they get older. However, the children of elderly parents often have children of their own, and lives to maintain. Some elderly people require around the clock care, and unless a loved one volunteers to be a caregiver, they are left in the care of others. We trust healthcare providers to care for loved ones as they end their lives, but what happens when nursing home neglect is suspected?

Elders can be vulnerable due to their mental or physical abilities. The World Health Organization estimates 1 in 6 elders face some form of abuse. Even family members can participate in elder abuse, but a shocking 2 out of 3 elder focused healthcare workers admit to having abused a person in their care. Abuse can contribute to a faster deterioration of health, so family members need to recognize the signs of various nursing home neglect.

Physical Abuse: Causing physical harm to a patient comes in many forms. This can be violent harm, such as hitting, or negligent harm like refusing care. A healthcare professional may lash out at a patient out of frustration or rage and cause injuries. Take note of any unexplained cuts, sprains, or bruising. If a loved one breaks a bone, question the staff about how it occurred. It could be as innocent as a fall, or they could be suffering abuse.

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IL malpracticeA parent must care for and protect their child. However, what happens when a child is injured or dies due to the negligence of a doctor? We trust doctors to know what is in the best interest of our health, so it can be a difficult time when a child is endangered from a trust we put in a practitioner or hospital. When negligence is involved, it is possible to sue a medical professional for malpractice to collect compensation for pain and suffering.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Doctors agree to administer a certain standard of care across the board, but when those standards are not met, it is the patient that suffers. It is understood that doctors may not get a diagnosis or care right the first time, but it is when omission or negligence is involved that a patient may have a case for medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice can affect child can before they are even born. Not performing necessary tests or taking special care for high-risk pregnancies is dangerous for a child and their mother. When being born, a doctor can cause defects due to not acting appropriately to circumstances or using tools incorrectly. If a baby is under stress during natural birth, it is the responsibility of the doctor to know when to perform an emergency C-Section. Being left in the womb may restrict the child’s oxygen which can lead to brain damage. Not treating a birth injury right away is also negligent and can cause life long injuries or defects.

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