The latest edition of Justice For All-the monthly newsletter from the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association-included an article discussed a tragic case involving Illinois medical malpractice allegations. The story explains how the family of a 17-year old Illinois male filed suit following the teen’s tragic death. According to the story, the lawsuit alleged that the boy experienced more than nine days of diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea before being transported to Holy Cross Hospital.
Upon his admission into the medical facility, a series of abdominal x-rays were taken. The medical professionals apparently read those x-rays as indicating cardiomegaly. The Mayo Clinic provides a helpful summary of cardiomegaly. Rather than a disease in itself, cardiomegaly is an enlarged heart that is a symptom of some other condition. When the term cardiomegaly is used, it is most often after x-rays are performed (as in this case) and before more specific diagnostic tests are taken which might better pinpoint the ultimate cause of the patient’s condition. Treatment for a cardiomegaly is essentially treatment for the underlying condition.
In this case, liver functioning blood tests were also taken and revealed “elevated liver levels.” Elevated liver levels are often an indicator of either liver damage or injury from some other type of disease-including muscle damage. Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys understand that taken together the liver levels and cardiomegaly indicate that the young man clearly faced serious medical issues when he was admitted into the medical facility.
However, neither the young man himself nor his mother was ever told about those medical concerns before nursing staff changes. Instead the family was told that the 17-year old had gastritis. Gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach lining that often disappears by itself over time. He was discharged from the facility without any follow-up instructions, according to the article. This premature discharge would ultimately prove to have fatal consequences for the unsuspecting teen and his family. Less than a week later the teen died. He suffered from acute heart failure-the sudden stoppage of the heart’s ability to function.
The family filed the Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit after the death. The documents filed in the lawsuit claimed that the emergency room staff members did not act reasonably, which led to the teen’s untimely passing. Had normal standards of care been followed, claimed the plaintiff, then the victim’s medical condition would have been properly identified, he would have received necessary treatment, and he would still be alive today. Recently, the family and medical facility reached a settlement agreement in the case amounting to $750,000.
Unfortunately, failure to receive proper treatment occurs more often than it should at various emergency rooms across the country. Each Illinois medical malpractice lawyer at our firm knows all too well the consequences that can strike when a patient is not properly evaluated when entering an emergency room or when test results are not fully investigated. It is often not easy for a patient to know for sure if standards of care deviations were made in their own case. To learn about what should have happened which might have prevented an accident, local residents who suspect malpractice should share their story with a legal professional as soon as possible.
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