Articles Posted in Surgical Error

What Is The Worst Medical Malpractice Case
In 2017, a jury sent ex-neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch, aka Dr. D and Dr. Death, to life in prison for botched surgeries that resulted in two deaths and multiple cases of paralysis. Prosecutors said Duntsch’s surgical outcomes were so poor, so beyond the accepted standard of care, that a grand jury indicted him on five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as well as a one count of harming an elderly patient. Using information gathered in a yearlong investigation to prove his gross malpractice, attorneys identified more than 30 patients at the four hospitals who were harmed due to his carelessness in just over 18 months.:

  • Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano: A patient bled to death after Duntsch punctured a major artery during surgery. Another was left quadriplegic.
  • Dallas Medical Center: A woman died of a stroke after a routine operation.

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:

emergency room crisis death

Wisconsin Woman Died Soon After Leaving Emergency Room

A daycare teacher who was waiting to be seen in a Milwaukee hospital emergency room passed away just a few hours after she decided to leave and try an urgent care facility instead. News reports distributed by CNN on January 17, 2020 say she sought emergency medical care at Froedtert Hospital after experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath.

According to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner report, after waiting more than two hours, the 25-year-old left and went to seek help at an urgent care. She then collapsed as she arrived at the facility parking lot, and was pronounced dead not long after.

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.

Chicago med mal attorneys

FDA Releases Statement on Dangers of Staplers Used in Common Surgeries

Everyday medical devices such as surgical staplers can be beneficial tools and aid procedures in both time and recovery when used correctly. But after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed an increasing number of reports in line with the use of these common devices, the need to update safety recommendations and remind medical providers of the risks associated with the devices’ safety became correspondingly apparent.

“As part of our public health mission, it is important that we communicate with the public when we become aware of issues stemming from the use, or misuse, of medical devices.”

“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.

“It would be great if the regulators of hospitals and doctors were more diligent about responding to harm to patients, but they’re not, so people have turned to other people. This is what happens when your system of oversight is failing patients.”

-Lisa McGiffert, former head of Consumer Reports’ Safe Patient Project to USA TODAY

You may be one of the many who rely on online reviews to help make decisions on everything from where to eat to what vendors to choose for house projects. How about using online reviews to decide which doctor to see? With the popularity of websites such as Yelp, Facebook, and other online platforms that allow customers and patients to post their opinion on venues, goods, and services, many are turning to the internet to help them choose healthcare providers.

medical malpractice attorneys

How An Attorney Can Help You After a Surgical Burn

Unfortunately, medical mistakes and their related injuries remain all too common for today’s everyday patient. One largely preventable mistake some may not think of is a surgical burn. These injuries are likely to occur when a person is under anesthesia for a routine operation or reconstructive surgery and can range from first to fourth degree burn injuries as a result of a medical professional’s negligence or medical equipment or device failure. Burns are most often caused from an electrical, transferred heat, laser or other surgical equipment thermal burn immediately once contact is made with the patient. Patients may wake up from a surgery focused on an internal organ and find they are also being treated for a skin burn to their lower extremity, the most common area for surgical burns. While some burns can be treated in an outpatient center many others may require ongoing therapy and painful reconstructive surgeries.

While these cases might seem simple, an attorney will be needed to help gather answers and provide careful consideration of the facts prior to taking on a surgical burn case. During this investigative stage, an experienced surgical burn attorney can determine:

In April, our blog highlighted the failure of the state of Illinois to check the National Practitioner Database (NPDB) in 2017 for ANY prior lawsuits or disciplinary action of a physician applying for a license to practice medicine. Illinois was one of 13 states in the country that didn’t use the database to query a physicians’ background a single time that year.

The news was troubling then, but is bringing up renewed feelings of mistrust and worry after information was released in a November 30th article through a collaborative investigation between the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today, a website dedicated to providing education and news to physicians. The investigation found that over 250 physicians who had lost their medical license in one state are now practicing in another.

Doctor Leaves Trail of Injured Patients, Now Practicing in Cincinnati

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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