Medical errors have a variety of causes, as our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers well know. For example, in many cases, a patient receives substandard care simply because a medical professional had a lapse in judgment at a particular moment. In other cases, systematic problems at a facility lead to certain mistakes being made time and time again.
A case of the latter form of medical malpractice was recently reported in the San Francisco Gate. A hospital chain in the area, Prime Healthcare Services, is being investigated for a series of incorrect diagnoses of a complex blood infection known as septicemia. State health inspectors examined 120 patients at four different hospitals within the chain who had been diagnosed with the infection. Twenty percent of that group, or 22 patients, showed little symptoms of the disease but were still diagnosed.
One patient’s file specifically indicated that he showed “no sign of infection,” yet he was started on septicemia treatment anyway. In seven other patients, the clear signs indicated a far less severe urinary tract infection.
The probe began after medical records indicated that septicemia rates within these hospitals were nearly triple the national average. So what might be the cause of the problem? As usual, money is involved. Hospitals are paid a premium for treating patients with the blood infection-more than three times more than for a urinary tract infection. The increased treatments meant more money was headed to the hospital from public coffers. However, the investigation may ultimately result in sanctions against Prime Healthcare.
No matter what the cause, no patient should suffer the consequences of substandard medical care. Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti fight for victims of these and other medical errors throughout Illinois. It is unacceptable for hospitals to do anything that may jeopardize a patient’s care for the sake of increasing their own bottom line.
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