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Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Filed Claiming Medication Error Caused Blindness

Each Chicago medical malpractice attorney at our firm understands that medical errors come in many different forms. From surgical problems and failure to diagnose cancer, some medical professionals unfortunately make errors at many different stages of the medical process. At times, patients go into the hospital for one problem only to leave with a totally new ailment as a result of receiving inadequate medical treatment.

That reality is illustrated well with a new medical malpractice lawsuit that was filed by a woman who originally went to the hospital for coronary artery surgery and ended up leaving blind. The Times Tribune has the story.

The heart surgery took place in mid-December of 2005. However, two days after she arrived at the hospital her doctors discovered that she had a knee infection. The woman has previously had a prosthetic knee inserted. To treat the infection the medical team removed the prosthesis. In addition, her medical providers placed the woman on a range of medication including antibiotics, narcotic painkillers, drugs to help with high blood pressure, and stress hormones. Later a diuretic was added to her drug lineup as well.

Unfortunately, the drugs did not act exactly as intended.

According to documents filed in a subsequent lawsuit, the medication cocktail caused the patient’s blood pressure to drop suddenly. The blood pressure problem led to flow problems to the woman’s organs. Five days after her initial admittance into the facility the woman’s nurses found her unresponsive in her room, suffering from renal failure.

A neurologist was called who determined that the woman had brain dysfunction. The medical specialists suggested that the problems were caused by “toxic metabolic factors: which includes too high levels of antibiotics and other drugs given to the woman following treatment for her knee infection. As a result of these complications, the woman was rendered permanently blind.

The family eventually filed a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking to hold the caregivers accountable for their conduct that led to her blindness. The legal matter has stalled for years because of a wide-range of complex procedural arguments. However, the case finally advanced to trial this week. Attorneys for both sides gave opening statements this week and witnesses are expected to be called as early as tomorrow. In total, three different doctors, two nurses, and their employers were all named as defendants. This trial will likely last for quite some time because of the complexity of the issues and the various defendants involved.

Every Chicago medical malpractice attorney at our firm appreciates that while this case may seem unique, far too often patients leave a hospital with more problems than they had going in. Often the complications are caused by mistakes made by caregivers when they were inside the medical facility. That is unacceptable. The first commandment for doctors is always to “do no harm.” When professionals fail to uphold that charge, then the civil justice system provides an avenue for those affected to seek redress and accountability. If you find yourself in this situation, please take a moment to contact the medical malpractice lawyers at our firm to see how we can help.

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