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Chicago Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Woman claims newborn died as result of hospital negligence

Giving birth should be one of the most joyous occasions for Illinois families and others around the country. If something catastrophic should happen and a newborn baby dies, the parents would be understandably devastated. The tragedy would be compounded if a family believed that the baby's death occurred because of hospital negligence. Recently, a woman in another state filed a lawsuit against a medical center and a nurse employed there for actions she claims led to her son's death.

Court documents reflect that a mother filed a $8.6 million lawsuit related to the death of her baby boy in 2012. She claims that the defendants caused foreseeable harm to her son as well as emotional distress to her after her child died. The lawsuit states that the woman wants a trial by jury.

Failure to diagnose leads to lawsuit against hospital, physician

Many Illinois residents and others around the nation have accidents that require them to go to the emergency room for treatment. Physicians and other medical personnel provide care and perform procedures as necessary, depending on the diagnosis. Patients expect a certain level of care and assume that their condition will improve after receiving treatment. This was not the case for a man in another state. He recently filed a lawsuit against those he holds responsible for the failure to diagnose a condition he had.

The man went to a hospital's emergency room in July 2014, after having his arm cut by car glass. The complaint states that no X-rays were taken at the time of his visit. The physician who treated the man placed sutures in his arm. However, X-rays done in Aug. 2014 revealed that there were foreign objects in the man's arm. Surgery was necessary the following month to remove the objects.

Physician burnout can lead to surgical errors

Burnout can be a common complaint for many workers in Illinois and all around the country, regardless of the occupation. Stress and exhaustion on the job can lead to a loss of focus and possible mistakes. For the majority of jobs, an error may cause delays or monetary losses. However, in the medical profession, surgical errors can lead to serious injury or even death. Leaders at a recent industry event discussed ways to help physicians avoid and recover from burnout.

The keynote speaker at the event stated that a major cause of burnout for physicians is the care they are required to provide within a system. The doctors are stressed because the health care system in which they work promotes a standard of care they do not support. When a physician must administer a level of care that he or she may not deem as adequate, there is a conflict with morals and values. Professional burnout occurs often when this situation exists.

Did a failure to diagnose cancer earlier kill a woman's son?

Most parents here in Illinois and elsewhere want their children to live long, happy lives well beyond their own. Sadly, some parents' children suffer either illnesses or injuries that ultimately take their lives. When a parent believes that death occurred due to a failure to diagnose by medical personnel, litigation could follow as a way to seek closure and justice for the loss of a child.

One such mother recently filed a lawsuit against medical personnel she believes failed to diagnose her son's cancer, which led to his death. Documents filed in the lawsuit indicate that her HIV-positive son sought medical attention for rectal bleeding on July 21, 2014 from doctors at a facility claiming to understand the care needed for such patients. Doctors diagnosed her son as having a bleeding rectal ulcer and sent him home with a prescription.

Double-booking operations can lead to surgical errors

Double booking surgeries, or running two rooms, is a practice used in teaching hospital in Illinois and around the country. A senior attending surgeon often initiates an operation, then assigns parts of the surgery to a fellow or resident. In double booking situations, the senior surgeon then leaves one surgery to start another one in a separate operating room. While an acceptable practice if the attending surgeon is present during certain parts of the operation, it can lead to surgical errors, according to an investigation conducted in another state.

The study revealed that, while proponents of the practice contend that the procedures are safe, there are many issues surrounding concurrent surgeries. In some instances, surgeons could not be found, leaving patients under anesthesia for long time periods. Residents and fellows were left to perform operations with no supervision. Often, patients had no idea they were double-booked and would have refused to sign consent forms had they been aware of the practice.

Diagnosis errors are prevalent in cardiovascular diseases

With July being Medical Malpractice Awareness Month nationwide, including in Illinois, new research that shows physicians frequently fail to notice early indications of heart disease might be worth discussing. A joint study by a medical malpractice company and a firm that specializes in research and analysis recently published evidence that diagnosis errors by general practitioners in outpatient facilities are frequent occurrences. The study was based on over 250 cases of medical malpractice in which doctors failed to notice signs of cardiovascular diseases that had significant chances of ultimately leading to conditions that are more serious.

Data revealed that the majority of the patients were diagnosed with conditions that showed similar signs and symptoms to that of heart disease, like musculoskeletal pain, esophageal reflux and more. Nearly one-quarter of the patients that ultimately received a diagnosis of coronary atherosclerosis or myocardial infarction had recorded cardiovascular disease histories. A co-author of the study expressed his surprise at finding that the majority of medical malpractice claims were brought by patients who showed typical cardiac disease risk factors and not those who were low-risk cases.

Woman files suit against hospital for surgical errors

Complications can often arise following a surgery in Illinois or elsewhere around the country. Infections, reactions to anesthesia or shock are common after someone undergoes an operation. However, some issues unfortunately occur as a result of a physician's surgical errors. A woman in another state recently filed a lawsuit against a major hospital following a mistake made during a surgical procedure.

A woman filed the lawsuit in a county state court regarding a Dec. 2014 kidney and pancreatic transplant surgery. The lawsuit states that a physician performed the surgery with a medical camera, assisted by two other doctors. The woman was unaware that the camera was left inside her following the surgery.

Failure to diagnose leads to unnecessary surgery

Being given a diagnosis of breast cancer would be traumatic for an Illinois resident to experience. Surgery to remove the breast is often a step in the treatment process for the disease. Recovery from the surgery would understandably bring both physical and emotional struggles.  However, discovering that the surgery was unnecessary would be devastating for a person to hear. A recent situation where the failure to diagnose a condition properly has led to a malpractice suit against a hospital in another state.

A woman was told she had a common form of breast cancer following a biopsy at the hospital. She was sent for a mastectomy to remove her breast. There, her civil suit states that a critical step in the hospital's pre-operative procedures never took place. The guidelines state that pathology reports conducted by other facilities must be reviewed by someone from the hospital's medical staff. Though the surgeon certified that the report had been examined, the review had never occurred, according to court documents.

Surgical errors lead to additional surgery; 2 deaths reported

Physicians in Illinois and across the country perform surgeries every day at hospitals and medical centers. Many of the procedures are scheduled for specific times, while others may be performed in an emergency, unplanned situation. Whatever the circumstance, patients and their families expect to receive a certain standard of care at a sufficiently staffed facility. A recent investigation conducted at a medical center in another state has determined that surgical errors occurred there due to the facility's inadequate staffing.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported that the medical center did not properly staff its operating room between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. The facility was also short-staffed on weekends, according to the investigation. When emergencies occurred, the surgical staff was forced to stop procedures in process and remove the patient from the operating room.

Woman claims illness due to hospital negligence

Many Illinois residents and others around the nation have undergone open heart surgery through the years. Though a major operation, the surgery is performed with great success and offers a promising prognosis to many. However, complications can arise after surgery that can cause serious problems for patients. A lawsuit was recently filed by a woman who claims her problems after surgery arose due in part to hospital negligence.

The woman, a school board member in another state, had a cardiac bypass and aortic root replacement. The surgery was successful, but the healing and recovery took longer than normal. She was diagnosed with a bacterial infection in her chest a month following her surgery. She had a total of four surgeries and several rounds of potent antibiotics. The lawsuit asserts that one of the drugs caused hearing loss.

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