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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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