A woman filed a lawsuit in Cook County against Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. The lawsuit alleges that a nurse used needles potentially contaminated with HIV and hepatitis B and C. The woman is seeking damages and medical expenses in excess of $50,000. According to the lawsuit, the woman was a patient at the hospital for treatment of a gluteal abscess and polymicrobial sepsis. Because she was a type I diabetic, she required insulin injections several times per day. The nurse administered the insulin shots. Later, doctors informed the woman that the nurse used the wrong needles. Even worse, the needles she used were previously used on a patient who was positive for HIV as well as hepatitis B and C.
HIV and AIDs
HIV and AIDs are typically transmitted through sexual contact or through the sharing of contaminated needles. In this instance, the woman may suffer from dangerous and life threatening injuries that may not be immediately evident. HIV, human immunodeficiency virus, causes a compromised immune system, which can lead to AIDS, and can be dangerous or fatal to patients. HIV may take months or even years after exposure to show up in the person’s system. There is no actual cure for HIV, although treatments have been able to successfully suppress or slow the disease in some cases.
Medical Mistakes are Dangerous
Medical mistakes occur every day in hospitals across the United States. Unfortunately, sometimes they result in serious injuries or death. In this case, the woman, who was already being treated for an unrelated illness, has been exposed to the potentially deadly disease as the result of a medical mistake. Medical mistakes most often happen due to human error. Medical mistakes are usually considered a form of medical malpractice. This occurs when a medical professional does something negligent that harms a patient. This lawsuit demonstrates how serious a medical mistake can be. The nurse should have been more careful in choosing the needles she used on the patient and thus the problem would have been avoided.
Medical mistakes can and should be prevented. They may happen for a number of reasons but when the result is a serious injury or death, the situation is often considered medical malpractice. Doctors and nurses are expected to provide a high level of care based on their expertise, experience, and knowledge. Negligence could be the result of performing improperly or failing to do something that should have been done. According to the paperwork filed, the nurse was negligent by utilizing needles that were not properly sterilized. A simple mistake such as this one could prove to have grave results in the future.
Medical malpractice cases seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages caused by the negligent act. The woman in this suit is also requesting money for loss of enjoyment of life. If you or a loved one were seriously injured because of medical malpractice, contact the experienced attorneys at Levin & Perconti for a free consultation today.