Articles Posted in Brain Injury

medical malpractice

Arizona Hospital Staff Drop Infant After Delivery and Dad Catches It on Video

The parents of an infant girl have shared a disturbing video taken by the newborn’s father shortly after she was born alongside her twin sister on February 14, 2019. The video takes place at Chandler Regional Medical Center in Chandler, Arizona hospital and shows the newborn, named Morgan, haphazardly dropped on her head just moments after the birth while being tended to by three employees.

The video, posted on Facebook by the girl’s mother Monique Rodgers, is troubling to watch. In the mother’s comments related to the post she shared that, “I was never notified she was dropped. I would like to prevent this from happening to other children being born at this hospital.”

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy

What to Do If You Suspect Your Baby’s Brain Injury Was Caused by Oxygen Deprivation at Birth 

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), sometimes called neonatal asphyxia, is a very serious birth complication created by an obstruction in blood flow in the brain during the prenatal, intrapartum or postnatal period. In shorter words, it happens when the fetus or infant’s brain is injured because of a lack of oxygen-rich blood.

HIE requires immediate medical intervention and can lead to the death of the child. For those that survive, mental disabilities and intellectual impairment, will occur in the first two years of age. These babies are also at greater risk of cerebral palsy, epilepsy, vision and hearing loss. Advanced research on HIE published in the American Journal of Perinatology has tied oxygen deprivation complications at birth to autism spectrum disorders and a range of other neurodevelopmental abnormalities.

The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit group dedicated to hospital safety, has released their biannual Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade report, showing an overall improvement in Illinois hospitals since the spring. According to Leapfrog, the survey measures hospital patient safety by the number of “errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.” Participation by hospitals is optional and this fall, 110 Illinois hospitals agreed to take part. According to the data collected, Leapfrog rated Illinois hospitals as #13 overall, an improvement from #15 this past spring.

In a time where the increasing problem of medical errors is finally being given the platform it deserves, the survey is more relevant now than ever. The Leapfrog Group, citing an often quoted 2016 Johns Hopkins study, notes that medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the United States. Patient safety and healthcare provider accountability is essential for all hospitals and healthcare organizations. Below is our analysis of the Fall 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade report for participating Illinois hospitals.

Illinois & Metro Chicago Hospital Results

Dental procedures are supposed to be safe and, for the most part, pain-free. Yet this was certainly not the case for one local man. The man visited the dentist, and it was determined that he required a tooth extraction. The extraction apparently went awry, causing the man severe pain and injury. The man filed a lawsuit in Cook County, seeking damages of more than $50,000 in addition to legal costs.

Dentists Must Provide Proper Care

Dentists, like medical doctors, are held to a high standard of care. They are required to provide proper care because of their extensive training, education, and experience. For this reason, when a medical professional makes a mistake, it could be considered negligence. In this case, the patient was treated by the dentist and other staff members. The court documents indicate that the dentist did not properly train the staff and as a result, the man suffered serious harm because of a failed tooth extraction.
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The legal representative of a woman has filed a lawsuit against a hospital for permanent a brain injury the woman sustained while in their care. The lawsuit was filed in Cook County naming Ingalls Memorial Hospital and several others. It alleges that the woman was in their care when they failed to properly diagnose her illness. As a result, the woman suffered severe and permanent brain damage. The woman entered the hospital for a c-section delivery of her infant. She was complaining of nausea and vomiting, faintness, and hallucinations. The hospital transferred her to intensive care after the delivery of the baby. However, according to the lawsuit, the hospital did not properly diagnose her problem. 48 hours later she was sent to a different medical facility where she was properly treated.

Misdiagnosis Caused Permanent Injury

The woman in this case was suffering from malnutrition and was ultimately diagnosed with Wernicke’s encephalopathy. This condition causes lesions on the brain which are the result of severe malnutrition. According to the lawsuit, the woman should have undergone a complete assessment when she was first admitted. This was not done and therefore the diagnosis was not made in a timely manner. Doctors failed to properly determine the woman’s illness. Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose is medical malpractice. In this case, the woman’s condition worsened and became permanent as a result of the delay in diagnosis.
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The goal of a medical malpractice lawsuit is often an emotional one: to hold a negligent medical provider accountable for their actions or failure to act that caused an injury or death of a patient. Nothing can reverse what has been done, but victims or their families nevertheless seek justice. In addition, victims or families also seek to be compensated for the injury or loss. While this too will never change what happened, it is a necessary element for plaintiffs to seek redress in the form of damages in order to maintain a legitimate claim. What potential litigants should understand, however, is the scope of possible damages they may seek, and what specific damages are possible in the state of Illinois.

As has been publicized in the world of personal injury law, the 2010 case of Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital significantly altered the landscape of medical malpractice law by finding the cap on the recovery of non-economic damages in such actions unconstitutional. This cap had been legislated in 2005 until its invalidation by the highest court of the state. This grounds for such action rested in a classic separation of powers argument, in which the Illinois Supreme Court determined that it was not up to the legislature, but rather up to the judiciary (either judge or jury) to assess damages on a case-by-case basis.

Non-economic effectively differs from economic damages in that economic damages focus solely on making the victim economically whole again, or at least as much as possible. Lost income, loss of potential income, medical expenses, and other hard and more easily calculable figures make up the category of economic damages. Non-economic damages on the other hand include awards for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other similar damages that cannot be so easily quantified, but nevertheless are quantified if a judge or jury determines a case merits such an award to further compensate a victim. Punitive damages also exist as a means of punishing defendants for their acts. However, punitive damages are not allowed against medical providers for medical malpractice in the state of Illinois.

All too often the public does not hear about the detrimental effects tort reform has on the hundreds of thousands of victims whom are injured by medical malpractice each year. Tort reform puts a cap on compensation for victims of medical negligence. The Huffington Post points out the specific case of Lisa Gurley. A court found that the severe brain injury suffered at birth by Lisa’s son, Colin, was caused by a doctor’s negligence. Despite this finding, Nebraska tort reform prevented Lisa and her son from being adequately compensated for his injuries. In fact, they were compensated for just a tiny fraction of what it will cost to care for Colin for the remainder of his life. Now, Medicaid and the Nebraska Medically Handicap Children’s program pay for all of Colin’s care. It is grossly unfair that the taxpayers and Colin’s family are paying the astronomical cost of caring for a severely handicapped child while the doctor and the insurance company paid minimally for the medical negligence. The Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Levin and Perconti are working to protect the rights of catastrophically injured children like Colin and to ensure that there continue to be adequate remedies for injured victims of medical negligence.

The husband of a woman who died at a Long Island Hospital due to a misdiagnosed brain hemorrhage has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and doctors who failed to properly treat her. The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that doctors failed to properly diagnose the victim’s brain hemorrhage which lead to her death. The victim was admitted to the hospital after complaining of vomiting and gastrointestinal pain, as well as a painful headache and pain in her left eye. The medical malpractice complaint stated that the victim had a history of ulcerative colitis. Usually a computed tomography (CT) scan will confirm a brain hemorrhage. If a brain hemorrhage is diagnosed properly, it can often by treated by radiology or microsurgical procedures. Since doctors did not perform these tests, their medical error led to the patient’s death. To examine the wrongful death suit more closely, please click the link.

A series of hospitals have been fined for serious medical violations, according to an article. Some of these medical violations led to either serious bodily harm or even death. At one particular hospital, a child suffered serious brain injury after the nursing staff failed to drain his head properly. Another hospital has claimed to counteract medical violations they will hire more staff and cut back on medical technicians’ duties so they can better concentrate on the patient’s care. If you have suffered due to a medical violation at your hospital you should consult a medical malpractice attorney to discuss legal options.

Read more about the serious fines dealt to the hospitals here.

Surgeon Paul Christopher Francel is facing 14 complaints that have been filed against him for medical malpractice negligence. In 2006, the surgeon made headlines after he performed surgery on a Russian teen that left him brain dead. The parents of the teen have filed a wrongful death complaint which is just one of the numerous others against the surgeon. He is currently under investigation by the state medical board.

Read more about the medical malpractice complaints here.

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