Articles Posted in Misdiagnosis

younger stroke victims

Doctors May Miss Stroke Signs in Young People

According to the American Stroke Association, strokes are on the rise among young people and in the past decade there has been a 44% increase in the number of young Americans hospitalized due to stroke. While that is an issue in itself, doctors and medical agencies are proving they may not be prepared. Some providers still have the perception that the disease only happens in older people. This means younger people who suffer strokes are being swiftly dismissed or not provided the correct, quick treatments needed in a critical timeframe. For each minute that blood flow is interrupted, two million brain cells will be lost, leaving many younger stroke victims with significant cognitive or physical disabilities.

Medical Malpractice Cases Related to Stroke

outpatient center mistakes

Up To 80% of Outpatient Medical Errors Are Preventable

Medical errors aren’t just a concerning issue for big hospital networks. A new white paper released in 2020 by the nonprofit Foundation for the Innovation and Development of Health Safety shows that as many as 4 in 10 patients are harmed in primary and outpatient healthcare settings (globally), with up to 80% of those medical errors preventable.

The whitepaper research highlights included:

access to medical records

Changes to An Individuals’ Right of Access to Health Records 

In January 2018, Georgia-based Ciox Health filed suit against the Department of Health and Human Services, arguing that some sections of the HIPAA Right of Access rules around third-party requests for patient records are impermissible under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Fast forward two years this month when a federal judge in the District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the “third-party directive” within the individual right of access “insofar as it expands the HITECH Act’s third-party directive beyond requests for a copy of an electronic health record with respect to protected health information (“PHI”) of an individual … in an electronic format.”

Additionally, the court held that the fee limitation should only apply to an individual’s request for access to their records, and does not apply to an individual’s request to transmit health documents to a third party.

Legalized Marijuana

Patient Harm at the Hands of Impaired Clinicians

Many reports on the issue of drug and alcohol use among those in the medical profession have found that substance abuse is widespread. However, rigorous standards are in place to keep patients safe from negligently “high” doctors. But recently adding to the issue is the possible impact the legalization of sales and recreational use of marijuana in Illinois may have on a physician’s performance. Undoubtedly, some doctors and health care professionals are likely to take a personal interest in the consumption of legal pot, especially as environmental triggers and workplace stressors commonly felt by overworked medical professionals are known to drive a person toward chemical or substance dependencies.

We hope that these practitioners appreciate the boundaries related to performing the duty of care owed to their patients and that they understand some users may be incapable of fulfilling that duty and as a result – cause harm to their patients.

MRI Recommendations

Lack of Physician Compliance Identified After Radiologist Suggests Secondary Imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive test used to diagnose and detect medical conditions, especially those that impact the joints, spine and soft tissues such as muscles and tendons. Once the imaging is complete, a radiologist, a doctor who is trained to review the exam images, will send a signed report to the patient’s primary care or referring physician with recommendations for diagnosis or treatment. The treating physician will then share the results with their patient and explain if a follow-up exam or further evaluation is required.

Common use for MRI is to diagnose or evaluate musculoskeletal injuries or diseases:

L&P - Breast Cancer Month

What If A Doctor Failed to Diagnose Your Breast Cancer?

Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers estimate that medical error, including failure to diagnose, is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. And in many cases, medical conditions such as breast cancer are treatable when caught early but failing to diagnose or treat can often lead to further injury or death. With today’s greater awareness of one of the biggest killers to American women, as well as technological and diagnostic advancements, doctors should be able to detect breast cancer based on symptoms, standard age-based tests, or readily available screening methods. In many types of breast cancers, an early and correct diagnosis can make a significant difference in prognosis.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, some of the more common breast cancer diagnoses include:

“Safety advocates said that without access to public data, it has been too easy for hospitals to excuse poor outcomes by blaming mothers’ health problems.”

-USA Today

Hospitals Blame Mothers When Things Go Wrong

“To know that this happens is our country, that’s unacceptable.” 

-Sue Sheridan, patient safety advocate, in To Err Is Human

The medical malpractice attorneys of Levin & Perconti recently watched To Err Is Human, a newly released documentary showing the frequency and impact of medical errors upon American families. To see the facts relating to the frequency and severity of medical errors combined with the heart wrenching story of a family forever changed by these mistakes has left a lasting impression on all of us.

medical malpractice lawsuit

History of Common Malpractice Errors May Be Unknown to Patients

A recent investigation led by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, USA Today and MedPage Today found that even when surrendering a medical license because of unprofessional conduct such as sexual assault, medical malpractice or prescription abuse, physicians simply leave their bad history in one state and move their practice to another while continuing to make deadly mistakes as risky medical experts. Equally disturbing is that if a physician voluntarily surrenders his license, the public may not ever be able to access or gain knowledge about why the surrender occurred. Although the National Practitioner Data Bank has more than 1.3 million records of “adverse actions” going back to 1990, files can only be accessed by hospitals, insurers, and state medical boards. Individual states can file a complaint, but only if prompted to inquire of a physician offender’s harmful patient history.

Additional investigative findings published in December 2018 from the news organizations included:

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

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