Articles Posted in Illinois Accident

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When you go to a doctor you expect that every step will be taken to properly diagnose and treat your medical problem. Sometimes, however, that is not the case. A man filed a lawsuit against Northwestern Medical Group, Northwestern Medicine, Hinsdale Orthopaedics, and two doctors alleging negligence. The lawsuit states that insufficient measures were taken to prevent injuries and that his injuries were improperly evaluated and treated.

Misdiagnosis

The man in this case sought medical treatment after he injured his arm with broken glass. The man was treated and released. However, the man’s arm was not healing properly and he experienced pain. He later found out that the glass had lacerated his tendon and surgical repair was necessary. The original diagnosis was not thorough enough and the doctors failed to determine that the man’s tendon was severely injured. As a result of misdiagnosis, the injury worsened.
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There are many dangers hidden in the very places where we are supposed to heal. For example, many hospital rooms have bed with rails on the side. These bed rails are familiar to everyone. They are usually made of metal and run along the side of the sleeping space, presumably to prevent the sleeper from rolling off accidentally. While that general principle seems logical, those working on patient safety matters appreciate that bed rails usually cause far more harm then they prevent.

That is why many are leading efforts to get these bed rails off the market for good with the hopes of protecting hospital patients, nursing home residents, and other who sleep in spaces with the rails.

National attention was brought to the issue late last year with one of the leading anti-bed rail activists, Gloria Black, was profiled in a comprehensive New York Times article. Black began fighting in 2006 after her mother’s untimely death. The senior died in a nursing home after her neck became trapped in a bed rail and no one was around to help. It was a shocking tragedy, but, as Black soon found out, not all that rare.

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A few legal details are different in Chicago medical malpractice cases where a public body is the defendant. In the med mal context, that usually occurs when the hospital where the medical error occurred is a publicly owned facility, like Cook County’s Stroger Hospital. There are often different timelines to file suit and various hoops that must be jumped through before recovery is actual received.

For one thing, any payment via settlement must be approved by the client-defendant. When that client is the public, then the approval must be given by the people’s representatives. In the case of Stroger Hospital, that is the Cook County Board of Commissioners. That is exactly what is set to happen when Commissioners vote on a new proposed settlement which would allow payment of $1.75 million to a former Stroger Hospital patient who had his leg amputated.

Chicago Medical Malpractice

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As outlined yesterday, medical malpractice insurance premiums for doctors are not affected by tort reform laws. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that there is nothing to be done to lower them. In fact, many argue that insurance companies need to be reigned in with stricter rules to ensure that they are not bilking those who need their services. In fact, Illinois is often used as an example of the effects of insurance reform.

Illinois, Medical Malpractice, & Insurance Reform

The Center for Justice & Democracy discussed in its med mal briefing book how the Illinois case informs the reality of insurance reform.

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One reason that truly dangerous tort reform laws pass is because of the oversimplification of the arguments. Most community members have medical professionals who they admire and respect. Doctors and nurses are some of the most valued members of our society, working everyday to help others. When the medical profession is viewed in this way, it is easy to feel uneasy about medical malpractice lawsuits. After all, aren’t these suits simply attacking a community of medical professionals that most of us respect?

But of course, this completely distorts the details of the civil law and the proposed “reform” efforts. Believing that all professionals need to be held to basic reasonableness standards–including doctors, lawyers, accountants, and others–is not the same as “attacking” or demonizing any of those professionals. It is important to get past the oversimplified “us versus them” mentality. Instead, it is best to focus on discussing the specific issues at stake and remembering the entire purpose of legal access for fairness and accountability purposes.

Medical Malpractice Threat Overrated

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Earlier this year we shared the story of the young Chicago infant who was killed when he was accidentally given a dose of sodium chloride that was 60 times more than needed. The baby was born prematurely had stabilized. His family expected him to transferred home but instead he died only 40 days after he was born. The victim’s parents filed an Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit following the tragedy.

Today the Chicago Tribune explained how that medication error was likely caused by the use of an automated program to provide medical care. Specifically, the pharmacy technician accidentally typed the wrong information onto a programming screen which controlled the distribution of the drug. The mistake is an important reminder of the risks that run with increasing technology use in some areas of medical care.

Of course technological improvements often come with important advances in medical care that can help save lives. However, they also come with new safety risks. All medical providers must be aware of those risks and act accordingly to eliminate the chance that patients could be harmed because of the errors. Computer crashes may lead to lost information or jumbled data that cause physicians to have trouble finding what they need in a timely fashion.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration indicate that there have been at least 370 reported problems with health information systems in the last three years. Many of those mistakes led to patient injuries and death. That figure includes only self-reported, voluntary information, so the total number of errors is likely much higher.
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The Madison St. Clair Record is reporting that a woman sustained severe and debilitating injuries after a doctor did not attend to her spinal condition in a timely fashion. The medical malpractice lawsuit was filed in Madison County Circuit Court in Illinois. The woman claims that she went to the doctor on October 8, 2009 to receive a physical examination. At this visit, the doctor ordered an MRI of the woman’s lumbar spine. This MRI revealed that the victim was suffering from cauda equine syndrome. This is a syndrome that will cause a significant narrowing of the spinal canal that will compress nerve roots. If this is not treated, it can lead to a permanent loss of bowel and bladder control. It may also lead to paralysis of the legs.

After the doctor learned of this woman’s condition, he negligently failed to admit the victim in to the hospital in a timely fashion. The medical malpractice lawsuit also claims that he failed to conduct spinal surgery in a timely fashion thereby failing to treat her cauda equine syndrome quickly enough. Finally, the medical malpractice lawsuit claims that the doctor should have ordered the MRI on an emergent basis. The medical malpractice lawsuit seeks a judgment of more than $50,000. To read more about this medical error, please check out the link.

Failure to treat a medical condition in a timely manner is a common medical malpractice claim. If a doctor or a healthcare provider delays either your diagnosis or your treatment, he is putting your health at a great risk. A once treatable condition can now escalade into a serious condition. That is why it is imperative that all x-rays and test results are completed in a timely fashion. If you believe that your healthcare provider has committed a medical error by delaying your treatment, please consult a Chicago injury lawyer.

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A 19-year-old went to Chicago’s Kennedy Medical Service Corporation for what she believed was a routine pelvic disease diagnosis. However, according to her recent medical malpractice lawsuit, she was raped by her physician while her legs were in stirrups. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the young victim broke down crying to nurse, who immediately called the police. She then went to South Shore Hospital to have a rape exam performed. She provided the police officers with a narrative of the rape. These officers later shared this testimony with the state agency responsible for licensing doctors.

According to the report, the victim felt violated by a person she believed she could trust. Testifying during a 2008 state hearing she stated that she hopes this never happens to someone she loves. However, this victim is not the only one. Two more of the doctor’s patients would claim he raped them and four others claimed sexual misconduct to law enforcement or the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. It took all seven complaints for someone to take action against these egregious interactions.

Many are alarmed at the gross negligence of the Illinois licensing board in the delay it took to punish the doctor. It took seven years after the first complaint was filed for them to seek any disciplinary action. Still there was another two years before the doctor was actually punished, leaving him able to practice medicine for nine years. It is unclear as to how many women were victims of sexual medical malpractice during that timeframe. He was finally disciplined for “unprofessional and immoral conduct.” In order to protect patients, it is essential for medical licensing boards to take quicker action to ensure that negligent and harmful physicians are not allowed to continue to practice if they have committed harms against patients. Action should be take to prevent providers from continuing to practice, thereby lessening the risk of further malpractice. To read more about this Chicago medical malpractice lawsuit, please click the link.

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The Madison County Record reports that a man and his wife have claimed that a urologist removed the man’s kidney unnecessarily during surgery. The two filed the lawsuit in Madison County Circuit Court against an Illinois doctor and the Urology Consultants. The doctor had negligently performed a radical nephrectomy on the victim. The medical malpractice lawsuit claims that the doctor should have attempted to perform an exploratory surgery or a partial nephrectomy. Instead, the doctor performed a surgery that fully removed the kidney.

As a result of this surgery, the medical malpractice victim is suffering permanent pain, mental anguish and disfigurement. He is also claiming economic losses of medical costs and lost wages. He also believes that he is prevented from attending to the usual duties and affairs of life. His wife is filing suit claiming that she lost her husband’s love, companionship, consortium and support because of the medical negligence. The victim is seeking a judgment of more than $300,000. To read more about this Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit, please click this link.

According to Answers.com, radical nephrectomy involves removing the entire kidney, a section of the tube leading to the bladder, the gland that sits atop the kidney and the fatty tissue surrounding the kidney. On the other hand in a partial nephrectomy, only the diseased or infected portion of the kidney is removed. In this case, the medical malpractice victim would have benefited from a closer examination to determine which procedure was right for him. If you believe that you or a loved one suffered serious harms as a result of a medical provider’s mistakes, consult a Chicago medical malpractice attorney to discuss your potential claim and legal options.

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The family of a medical negligence victim is blaming nurses at an Illinois hospital for the victim’s death. They believe that these nurses were guilty of a number of negligent acts. The woman was first admitted to the Illinois hospital with signs and symptoms of respiratory infection. The victim had told nurses that she was just getting over an upper respiratory infection. Nurses found that her oxygen level had steadily decreased from 97 percent when she was admitted to 92 percent four days later. The medical malpractice lawsuit then states that the woman began coughing up blood and was too fatigued to perform physical therapy. She constantly complained of feeling ill and developed a temperature. Her husband was repeating her need for aide to the nurses.

However, despite all the indications of lung failure the nursing staff negligently failed to test her blood oxygen saturation and did not report her symptoms to her treating physicians. The Record reported that the nurses were ignoring the symptoms of her Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and additionally failed to treat such disease. It is the duty of the medical personnel to adequately assess all problems. Nurses should be in constant contact with doctors concerning a patient’s health. The victim wrongfully died at Memorial Hospital 18 days after being admitted. The man has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit claiming a loss of love, affection companionship, services and support. He has named specific nurses in the compliant and is seeking compensatory damages. If you believe you have been a victim of medical negligence, please contact a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer. To read more about the medical malpractice lawsuit, please click the link.