Contact Us
Blog
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Chicago medical malpractice lawyer

high deductible, Chicago medical mistake attorneysThanks to recent U.S. policy changes, more people than ever have affordable health care coverage. Unfortunately, that benefit is extremely limited since many are still stuck on high deductible plans, emergency care only plans, or subpar employer-provided insurance. So, even though many Americans are now protected in the event of an emergency, many still do not have the coverage they need to prevent serious illness. Even more concerning is that, despite the changes, many Americans may still lack the coverage they need to catch a serious condition before it gets out of hand.

What High Deductible Plans Can Mean for Your Health

While most healthy individuals do not have to worry too much about their healthcare coverage, anyone can suddenly find themselves in a situation where quality insurance is necessary. Moreover, many Americans are needing regular medical care for conditions like cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart complications much sooner than previous generations. Unfortunately, most people are less likely to seek treatment when they have high deductible insurance coverage. Or, if they do seek treatment, they may be less likely to probe the doctor further if no immediate cause for their symptoms is found.

...

doctor medical malpractice, Chicago personal injury lawyerWhen people read the stories about medical mistakes and the resulting malpractice claims, they often begin to wonder if their own physician might be capable or responsible enough to care for them in a life or death situation. Many also begin to fear the idea of going to an unknown doctor. However, studies suggest that, while the vetting of a physician is certainly warranted and necessary, most patients are probably relatively safe; it is just a small portion of physicians that patients should be wary of.

One Percent of Doctors Linked to One-Third of All Malpractice Claims

Although they may not provide a complete and definitive guideline on just how many (or which) doctors are making the most mistakes, malpractice cases do give quite a bit of insight. As such, researchers at Stanford examined the information on more than 66,000 paid malpractice claims paid against 54,000 physicians nationwide between 2005 and 2014. Nearly one-third of those claims could be linked to just one percent of all doctors.

...

avoidable medical errors, Chicago medical malpractice lawyersWhen people get sick, they visit their doctor to get better. When they are critically ill, they go to a hospital for treatment. But are doctors actually doing more harm than good? Evidence from the prestigious Journal of Patient Safety would certainly suggest as much. Published nearly two decades after the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) concerning report, To Err is Human, this new study indicates that people are not just dying by the very hands that are supposed to heal them; they are dying in significantly higher numbers than previously thought.

Preventable Deaths Now Third Leading Cause of Death

Using medical studies that were published between 2008 and 2011, researchers with Patient Safety America examined the occurrence of five commonly made medical mistakes: diagnostic errors, errors of commission, errors of context, errors of omission, and errors of communication. Overall, these mistakes caused as many as 440,000 deaths each and every year. That makes it the third leading cause of death in America, placing it beneath only heart disease and cancer.

...

drug shortages, Chicago medical malpractice attorneyIf two people you knew were in a life or death situation and you could only save one, who would you choose? This is the decision that doctors, surgeons, and anesthesiologists are making each and every day, but it is not for the reason you might think. Medicine shortages – everything from antibiotics to cancer drugs – are creating questionable practices and muddy ethical reasoning in the healthcare industry. So much so that ethicists and patient advocate groups have started to crop up with the hope of making the decision process “easier” and preventing malpractice cases.

Where Have All the Drugs Gone?

According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, more than 150 drugs and therapeutics are in short demand. Some are allegedly due to problems in manufacturing. Others are said to be because of federal safety crackdowns on drug makers that have made it more difficult to meet public demand. And still others are said to be due to the increasing cost of the drugs themselves. Whatever the case or reason, it is creating a serious safety problem for patients.

...

malpractice cases, Chicago wrongful death attorneysEffective communication is an integral and essential part of our everyday lives, but there are few professions in which it can make the difference between life and death; in the medical field, it can and does often lead to the latter. In fact, a recent study on a selection of medical malpractice cases found that communication failures had contributed to nearly 2,000 wrongful deaths over the course of five years. Sadly, this is not a new or uncommon issue.

Communication Failure Not a New Issue

It has been more than 15 years since the Institute of Medicine released the report, To Err is Human, in which researchers found that nearly 100,000 patients die each year from medical mistakes. And more than two decades have passed since Boston Globe health reporter Betsy Lehman died from a chemotherapy overdose because of a communication error.

...

superbug, medical scopes, Chicago medical malpractice attorneyOver the past few years, medical scopes have been linked to outbreaks of deadly, antibiotic-resistant "superbug" infections. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already recalled a disinfecting machine, but now one of the three brands of medical scopes used to drain fluids from the pancreatic and bile ducts is being recalled by the manufacturer, Olympus Corporation.

Disinfection and Sterilization Troubles Suspected in Scope Issues

According to a recent report, the bug and spread of infection may be due to the troubles experienced while attempting to sterilize and disinfect the Olympus medical scopes. It is possible that the issues with certain sterilizing machines may play a factor, but the scopes also play a factor, the FDA says. In fact, the organization alleges that they had already provided a warning to the manufacturers regarding their inactivity and delay in finding a solution to the problem.

...

excessive surgeries, Chicago medical malpractice attorneysAccording to recent studies, at least 91 percent of all physicians practice defensive medicine. Described as the process of ordering tests or procedures that exceed necessity to diagnose or treat to prevent a lawsuit, this new “face” of medicine can be found across all practices and specialties. But is this potentially driving factor in rising health costs really about preventing lawsuits? Or is it a method of fraud to drive up profits?

The Danger of Unnecessary Procedures

Whether it is a simple incision or a complete surgery, the performance of an unnecessary procedure puts patients at risk. Infection, complications, and the general presence of pain are all matters that may arise; in some cases, those problems can become deadly. For example, an unnecessary surgery can put the patient at risk for an anesthesia reaction, heart failure, hemorrhaging, and post-operative infection. So why do doctors do it?

...

residential treatment facilities, Chicago medical malpractice lawyersResidential programs are entrusted with the care and treatment of troubled or disabled youths and adults, but some of them are hiding a dirty little secret. Riddled with claims of abuse and neglect of the very people they are supposed to be helping, they are responsible for more than 100 deaths per year. Worse yet, they are buying their way out of those claims, sweeping the bad publicity under the rug, and allowed to continue operating, despite their outright mistreatment of residents.

Abuse, Neglect, and Death

Tens of thousands of teens and disabled adults are sent to residential treatment programs each year. Though considered a last resort for exhausted and overwhelmed families or schools, facilities like these have allegedly been found responsible for at least 145 deaths over the last three decades. ProPublica recently investigated these deaths to determine what, if any, responsibility might be designated to such facilities. Their results were highly disturbing.

...

commonly misdiagnosed conditions, Chicago medical malpractice lawyerAccording to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), approximately one in 20 adults seeking outpatient care will receive delayed, wrong, or missed diagnosis each year. It accounts for about five percent of all patients seen annually. Though not a large number overall, over time, those numbers begin to add up. In fact, the IOM estimates that the majority of Americans will eventually experience a diagnostic error at some point in their lives. This small percentage also happens to account for 10 percent of all patient deaths.

The real problem is not necessarily that doctors misdiagnose (although this is certainly an issue); it is that, once a diagnosis is made, the doctor stops looking for one. This leads to improper treatment that, in some cases, may contraindicate with the treatment needed for the actual condition. It also leaves the actual condition untreated and, over time, that can become lethal. This can be especially true when looking at the five most commonly misdiagnosed conditions.

Heart Attacks

...

medical test standards, Chicago medical malpractice attorneysWhen Americans go to the doctor and are at risk for an illness, they are often administered a test. Some of them have tried and true results but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently pointed out just how inaccurate, unreliable, and even potentially dangerous to patients others may be. They are now calling for stricter standards to regulate the use and distribution of medical tests. Unfortunately, those new regulations may be too little too late those that have already suffered an error in diagnosis.

The Gap Problem in Reporting Adverse Events from Medical Tests

Before a test kit can be sold to multiple laboratories, it must be reviewed by the FDA. Once it is approved for distribution, the manufacturer is supposed to report any adverse effects, such as death or serious injury that may have resulted from the use of the test. They may also be required to report defects in their products. However, these same regulations do not apply to all medical tests.

...

defensive medicine, Chicago medical malpractice lawyerAccording to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, medical malpractice costs in the United States amount to approximately $55.6 billion each year. The majority of this money ($45.6 billion) is spent on defensive medicine—care that does not further diagnosis or treatment and is intended only to reduce the risk of a medical malpractice claim. But does this methodology really work, or are physicians simply driving up the cost of healthcare? A recent study published in the medical journal BMJ may have an answer.

The Critics’ Case Against Defensive Medicine

Despite estimates that between half and two-thirds of all U.S. doctors use defensive medicine, there is almost no evidence supporting its use. Critics of the practice also point out that a substantial fraction of medical malpractice claims actually stem from communication issues, and many contain no medical error whatsoever. And, although diagnostic errors are the leading cause of malpractice claims, most are said to be attributed to cognitive or system errors rather than a lack of resources.

...

diagnostic errors, Chicago medical malpractice attorneyProper treatment for a medical condition hinges on a correct diagnosis, but the wrong diagnosis can be a death sentence. Valuable treatment time is wasted. Conditions may worsen. And, in some cases, the wrong treatment can be dangerous. Unfortunately, the misdiagnosis of medical conditions happens all too often—a lot more frequently than most people realize.

Diagnostic Error Statistics

According to the study from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), diagnostic errors (inaccurate or delayed diagnoses) touch five percent of all Americans seeking outpatient care each year. Postmortem examinations reveal that those errors contribute to approximately 10 percent of all patient deaths, and a review of patient medical records suggests that such errors could be responsible for up to 17 percent of all adverse events in hospitals. However, what is most concerning about all of this is that, for the most part, diagnostic errors have not gone largely discussed and are highly underresearched.

...

Few medical situations have the ability to invoke the kind of fear and anxiety felt by patients about to undergo surgery, and for very good reason. Their life is, quite literally, in the hands of the surgeon and his or her medical team. The patient is completely vulnerable—unconscious and unaware of their surroundings and circumstances. Potential risks and unexpected surgical complications can, and sometimes do, arise. But now there is a new surgical danger that patients fear… or they would if they were aware of its presence.

The “Secret” Risk of Surgery Today

There is a secret inside of operating rooms today; it is shared among nurses, surgeons, anesthetists, and even hospital administrators but often kept from the patients being operated on. Surgeons—in an attempt to balance out the high demand for their skills and the increased pressure to earn more capital—are double-booking surgeries. Their time and attention are split between two or more operating rooms at once, sometimes for the entire duration of one or more surgical procedures, and some of the responsibilities are handed off to student residents or other attending surgeons.

...

Compartment Syndrome, Chicago medical malpractice lawyersCompartment syndrome, a serious condition that causes increased pressure in the body’s muscle compartments, can be caused by even minor trauma to any part of the body. Its consequences, which can take hold quickly, can be devastating if not properly addressed by medical professionals. Indeed, in many cases, it is only their suspicion of the condition and prompt treatment that have the ability to save a patient from permanent and potentially fatal side effects.

Understanding Compartment Syndrome

Within any given muscle group, one will find thick layers of tissue, called fascia, separating it from the other muscle groups. Inside of each layer of fascia, there is a confined space, called a “compartment,” and within each one of those, there are blood vessels, nerves, and tissue. Swelling within the compartment, usually caused by injury, will place pressure on the internal parts and, if allowed to build up enough, blood flow to the compartment will become blocked.

...

medication errors, Chicago personal injury attorneysSurgical intervention—be it lifesaving or elective—is a dangerous business. Unexpected emergencies, postoperative infection, and delayed healing are just a few of the possibilities that are commonly discussed with patients. However, there is one risk that is not largely discussed, despite the fact that it may be one of the most commonly experienced: medication errors.

The Real Risk of Perioperative Care

Because medication mistakes during perioperative care (immediately before, during, and immediately after a procedure) are mostly self-reported, experts have long suspected that the numbers are much higher than those on record. A research group from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has now proven it with an analysis of 277 randomly selected operative procedures.

...

physician error, Illinois medical malpractice lawyerIt is true: Physicians are only human, but they also have the unique responsibility of protecting and saving lives. They went through years of intensive schooling, were required to show they were proficient in both knowledge and skills, and they vowed to uphold a specific set of standards. Unfortunately, there are physicians who, for whatever reason, commit medical malpractice by failing to fulfill their responsibility. Sadly, it is always patients who pay the price.

Physician Faces Lawsuits from Nearly 300 Patients

After 30 years of practicing medicine, a cardiologist in the Midwest is facing nearly 300 lawsuits from former patients. They all claim that to be victims of unnecessary procedures, all of which were performed by the physician or his colleagues. Though still in the early phases of litigation, the buzz surrounding the case has left many feeling wary of medical professionals, and angry that their health had been taken so lightly by someone who had vowed to protect it.

...

3d printing, Chicago medical malpractice lawyerThe emersion of 3D medical printing has created quite the frenzy due to the stories of lives saved or improved because of the technology. Medical professionals, the media, and even the general public are mystified and entranced by the possibilities, the lives that could be enhanced, and the money that could be saved. But is it really all it is cracked up to be? Or is 3D medical printing a super storm of medical malpractice lawsuits waiting to happen?

What is 3D Medical Printing?

Three-dimensional printing, more commonly called 3D printing, works a lot like regular printing in the respect that it must have a template or format from which to create the printed item. But, unlike typical printers, the ink (or solution) adheres to itself in droplets, creating a three-dimensional item. In medical printing, the most commonly used solutions are comprised of powders or cells.

...

statute of limitations, Chicago medical malpractice lawyersDespite receiving overwhelming bipartisan support from the Assembly, sponsoring from the majority of the State Senate, and endorsement from New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomono, a bill that would have changed New York’s statute of limitations on medical malpractice will never come up for a final vote. Instead, the bill, named Lavern’s Law, was shot down by the Senate majority leader, John J. Flannagan. As a result, victims of medical malpractice in New York will continue to suffer.

Lavern’s Law and the Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Suits

Lavern’s Law was named after Lavern Wilson, a Brooklyn woman who died from a curable form of lung cancer. Doctors at Kings County Hospital had found a suspicious mass during an X-ray three years prior to her death, but never told her about it. And, because New York’s statute of limitations only gives victims two-and-a-half years from the date a mistake occurs to file a lawsuit, no action was ever taken against the negligent physicians.

...

recorded surgeries, Chicago medical malpractice lawyerMedical errors can have catastrophic, and sometimes deadly consequences. For those affected by such errors, the medical malpractice lawsuits that often follow can be complex, stressful, and lengthy. During that time, the injured or the family of the deceased must bear the weight of financial burdens caused by the death or injury. But what if it were possible to determine, beyond a reasonable doubt, if a death or injury had been the result of an unpreventable complication, or if it had been caused by negligence?

The University of Toronto has already created a device that could do all of this, and more.

University of Toronto Device Spurs Bills in Wisconsin and New York

...

surgeon complication rates, medical negligence, Chicago Medical Malpractice LawyerSince the 1999 publication of “To Err is Human,” a landmark report from the Institute of Medicine on the number of medical errors in the United States, patient safety has been at the forefront of health care discussions. Unfortunately, little has changed since then; a recent study from ProPublica has provided a closer (and highly disturbing) look.

ProPublica Reveals Disparity in Patient Care Among Surgeons

Medical malpractice studies are not a new concept, but ProPublica took their analysis beyond statistics as a whole; they individually examined the Medicare cases of 17,000 surgeons over the course of five years. Eight commonly performed elective procedures were examined, including knee and hip replacements, spinal fusions, prostate removals and resections, and gallbladder removals – all of which are considered routine, straightforward, and relatively low risk.

...
To Top