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

medical malpractice lawsuits, Chicago medical malpractice lawyerIllinois Governor Bruce Rauner wants to advance his radical political agenda by making it more difficult for victims of negligence and medical malpractice to obtain fair and just compensation for their injuries.

Governor Rauner and his friends—big businesses and insurance companies—falsely claim that there is a “lawsuit crisis” in Illinois.  However, the fact is that lawsuit filings in Illinois have dropped 26 percent since 2007.  Governor Rauner’s proposed changes to the tort system in Illinois are designed to benefit the corporate sector, not victims of negligence. This would make it more difficult to sue large companies (including medical and pharmaceutical companies). Governor Rauner’s proposals would also limit the power of judges and juries in your community to compensate injured people who were victims of negligence.

The so-called “reforms” sought by Gov. Bruce Rauner, big business, the PAC’s that provide his campaign funding and his insurance industry backers, will only undercut the constitutional rights of citizens injured due to the wrongdoing of others and help to boost insurers’ bottom line.  When a person is brain damaged, mutilated, rendered paraplegic or suffers another grievous harm as a result of another’s negligence, but cannot obtain fair compensation from the culpable party through our courts because the laws have been rigged against them, the healthcare and other financial support for that individual and her family will be borne by the taxpayers.

...

no free passes initiative patient safetyHurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. managing partner, Attorney Chris Hurley, founded the No Free Passes Initiative after representing a family who lost the mother. He realized she could have been saved if the emergency room staff had more training on intubating patients. Multiple attempts at intubation is not acceptable. The more times a doctor and their team need to attempt an intubation, the more likely the patient is to have complications.

Attorney Chris Hurley has been a trial lawyer for over 30 years and has seen many clients or their family members live with life altering complications or death. After seeing many cases over the years that could have been prevented, Attorney Hurley came up with the idea for the No Free Passes Initiative to educate and train doctors and staff in the hospitals.

Those involved in the 12-month initiative program will go through the program through in-person meetings, webinars, advisory groups, and go through advanced skill training. They will talk with advisors throughout the program and receive coaching. These steps and programs are designed to ensure the teams involved will learn how to improve patient safety when attempting airway maintenance. With over 25,000 daily occurrences of life-threatening errors occurring daily in emergency rooms or intensive care units across the United States daily, improving patient safety is crucial.

...

no free passes initiativeNo one wants to lose a loved one, but to lose them because of a preventable error is unacceptable. Thousands of people are treated in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and Emergency Rooms (ER) every day across the United States. Doctors, nurses, and other medical staff who have gone through years of education to provide help and assistance to those who need it are the ones who can prevent these errors. Intubation errors are preventable with more training and education on how to successfully intubate a patient on the first pass.

After representing a family whose young mother had lost her life after an asthma attack and went without oxygen while in the ER, Attorney Chris Hurley, managing partner of Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., thought the exact same thing. Hurley partnered with Airway Management Education Center (AMEC) and Cynosure Health to start the No Free Passes Initiative and improve patient airway safety.

Attorney Chris Hurley has put together a presentation with other presenters to explain how the No Free Passes Initiative was started, the program vision and opportunities for support.

...

tort reform, Chicago medical malpractice attorneyTort reform laws put limits on the amount of compensation a victim of medical malpractice can receive. Tort reform does not favor victims; rather it favors negligent hospitals, doctors, and companies. The victims of medical malpractice should be able to get fair compensation as determined by a jury of peers, not what lawmakers, insurers and companies believe victims should receive.

Recently medical malpractice victims’ family members testified before Illinois lawmakers about how their lives had changed because of mistakes made by doctors and other medical professionals. The family members talked about how an arbitrary cap on awards for victims and their families limit and impact their lives.

Those who testified before Illinois legislators ranged from widows of Illinois State Troopers to mothers speaking for their children to the victims of medical malpractice who relived their tragedy. Those who spoke before the lawmakers took a stand because they have fought for themselves or someone they cared about for the justice they deserve. The compensation some received from their medical malpractice suits will take care of their injured family members’ medical and living expenses.

...

reusable medical devices, Chicago medical malpractice lawyerReusable medical devices, like the duodenoscope, have led to deaths due to not being able to sterilize them sufficiently. Why does it take so long to update sterilization standards for reusable medical devices? This is a cause for concern, but the new standards are not required to be used on existing products on the market, even though that is where the concern and problems began. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is only requiring new products to adhere to new rules, stricter guidelines, and more testing.

Multiple deaths and infections, starting as early as 2012, have been linked to a deadly bacterial infection caused by a deodenoscope that was not completely sterilized because of the small crevices in the scope and the internal tubing. A duodenoscope is a device that is used to diagnose and treat diseases in the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. It is inserted through a patient’s throat while they are being given general anesthesia and it continues down through the stomach to the point where the stomach and small intestines meet.

Due to the recent death of two people in a Los Angeles hospital being linked to contracting this deadly bacterium through reusable devices, the FDA is asking manufacturers to prove their products can be sterilized, including the small crevices where bacteria can live. Since the FDA is only requiring new market products to be held to higher standards though, it may take a while before they are practiced with current products in the market. This can lead to more deaths or injuries to patients.

...

right to compensation, Chicago medical malpractice attorneysWhen a doctor, medical staff, hospital, or nursing home is negligent or makes a mistake that causes injury or death to a patient it is called medical malpractice. The patient or patient’s family deserves the maximum compensation for the mistake or negligence. A new provision of a bill recently passed by the House of Representatives would protect the doctors and hospitals instead of the patient and their family.

If signed into law, the provision would put a limit on the amount of compensation victims of medical malpractice would be able to collect. The belief is that limiting the compensation will lower spending in the healthcare system. Texas already has a law that limits compensation to $250,000 per year, but it has not cut spending in the healthcare system. A study showed that spending per patient increased.

This provision does not benefit the patients. It benefits doctors, hospitals, and the healthcare system. It would prohibit the use of federal guidelines for the quality of care standards to be used in medical malpractice cases. This means if the doctor or hospital was negligent or caused you or a family member an injury or death, the quality of care guidelines would not be admissible in court to show the negligence.

...

medical error rate, malpractice attorney in ChicagoMedical malpractice affects thousands of Americans every year due to hospital negligence or patients suffering from some type of preventable harm due to medical error. NPR referenced a Journal of Patient Safety study that concluded between 210,000 and 440,000 patient deaths occurred as a result of  preventable harm in hospitals, making it the third leading cause of death in America.

This number is more than double the 98,000 patients previously reported by the Institute of Medicine. When it comes to hospital safety, patients may be in harm’s way more often than they realize. The American Association for Justice points out more startling statistics that further emphasize a problem the nation continues to face. Its report concludes:

  • An estimated 40 wrong-site surgeries occur on a weekly basis;
  • Up to 1,500 medical sponges or surgical instruments are left inside patients every year; and
  • The same five percent of doctors are responsible for over half of all medical negligence cases.

These statistics prove that the problem is not being properly addressed. The consistent rate of medical error is cause for concern. Patients victim to medical negligence compromise not only their immediate health, but their future quality of life and financial stability. When patients must have corrective procedures or surgeries as a result of medical error, these costs cause undue hardship and health care providers need to be held accountable.

...

colonoscopy screenings, illinois medical malpractice lawyerAccording to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer ranks third as the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. A colonoscopy allows a doctor to examine the inside of the colon to detect polyps, diseases, or other abnormal results. The recommended time interval between procedures is 10 years beginning at the age of 50.

It is the responsibility of medical providers to ensure their patients are informed of the need for these types of health screenings in order to adhere to the standard of care. A recent report published by The Boston Globe refers to an Illinois gastroenterologist on the board of the American Gastroenterological Association who says there are substantiated reasons for people to have their screenings performed earlier than the recommended timeline, such as:

  • Patients may be under the guidance of their primary doctor who has recommended an earlier follow-up;
  • Patients may not have properly prepared for the screening the first time, which means a possibly skewed view of the entire colon;  and
  • Patients may fear history of colon cancer in their family.

The director of endoscopy from Boston Medical Center supports this by saying that the bigger issue is people are not undergoing these important health screenings. An estimated 40 percent of Americans over the age of 50 have not been screened for colon cancer in any way.

...

FDA product recalls, Chicago product liability lawyerThe FDA has instituted a final guidance document in order for companies to clearly distinguish a recall from a market withdrawal. Part of the draft version of the new guidance called for reporting of any enhancement of a product, a factor critical when determining potential health risks and dangers to consumers.

Many in the medical device industry were concerned about additional paperwork rather than focusing on the importance of detailed documentation for the benefits of safety. Certain devices have been approved for market that have represented an upgrade, innovation, or correction to a previous device and have resulted in recalls.

It is a manufacturer’s responsibility to find the original source of the problem and not look at a defect as an isolated incident. One of the main intentions of the new guidance is to clarify when a change to a device constitutes a product recall. One example states, “a change to a marketed device to address false or misleading labeling or other labeling violations would generally constitute a medical device recall.”

...

America medical errors, Chicago medical malpractice lawyerThe risk of medical errors is a concern for a majority of patients in the United States. According to a Wolters Kluwer Health survey conducted in 2012, 73 percent of patients expressed concern about potential medical errors. Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed reported either they or a family member had been a victim of a medical mistake.

Common causes of negligent medical care include:

  • Miscommunication among hospital staff;
  • Doctors, nurses and other medical personnel being in a hurry;
  • Staff fatigue; and
  • Staffing shortages at hospital.

People seeking medical care should feel confidence in doctors and hospitals and their capabilities to provide care in the patient’s best interest. This occurrence of medical misconduct is not acceptable and it is causing Americans to delay necessary medical procedures.  The survey lists almost one in five people rescheduling a procedure to avoid the weekend or end of the week, so that the doctor may be better rested.

...

missed diagnoses in Chicago, Illinois medical malpractice attorneyThere have been several studies published in recent years that shine light on aspects of health care that are considered increasingly unsafe. In particular, there is concern about the level of care performed by medical providers on the weekend compared to on a weekday.

A study published in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery concluded that pediatric surgical patients who underwent common urgent operations during the weekend faced a higher risk of mortality, blood transfusion, and surgical complications.  Another Johns Hopkins Medicine study revealed the same type of “weekend effect” for head trauma victims. Its review of more than 38,000 patient records reflected a higher mortality rate in older adult patients who sustain head trauma injuries over a weekend than those hospitalized on a weekday.

These findings have been previously documented in cases of heart attack and stroke, but now have been linked to head trauma care as well. Researchers surmise that there is not a medical explanation for these statistics, but rather a hospital operational insufficiency due to reduced staffing and lack of accessibility to specialists during the weekend.

...
medical malpractice lawsuits, Chicago medical negligence lawyerWhen the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) ranked the consequences of medical malpractice, the DOJ listed death as the most common injury in medical malpractice cases, followed by injuries such as:
  • Organ damage/infection;
  • Brain or head injury;
  • Chronic pain; and
  • Back/neck injury.

The Institute of Medicine estimates that recorded deaths due to preventable medical errors every year exceeds the number of deaths linked to breast cancer, AIDS, and motor vehicle accidents. However, the amount of filed medical malpractice cases are significantly less.

A law review article published by the Northern Illinois University College of Law explores and debunks four myths regarding medical malpractice lawsuits:

  • Plaintiffs file frivolous medical negligence lawsuits;
  • Premiums are on the rise due to skyrocketing jury awards;
  • Access to healthcare is restricted; and
  • Doctors fear negligence liability.

Medical errors occur at a rate that is not matched by statistics of court-filed claims. The first of the listed myths is debunked by research that states that the majority of medical errors do not result in a lawsuit. The second myth is contradicted by research which shows that most victims of medical malpractice are never compensated for their injuries.

...

medical negligence in Illinois, Chicago malpractice attorneyMedical negligence occurs far more often than the number of cases reported for litigation. According to research published by Northern Illinois University College of Law, an estimated 4,325 patients die in hospitals in Illinois every year from preventable medical errors. Of this number, 96 percent of medical malpractice victims never pursue a claim.

Cornell University Law School Professor, Theodore Eisenberg surmises in his 2012 paper, “The Empirical Effects of Tort Reform,” that people who do not sue as a result of a medical error do not recover costs. Prof. Eisenberg shares that a possible contributing factor to the high rate of medical errors is due to the fact that most patients victim to medical malpractice do not file a claim. Therefore, doctors do not expect they will be responsible for full costs as a result of their negligence.

Our law firm is here to help victims understand their legal rights when it involves medical malpractice. It is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible regarding an incident in which medical error was involved due to the statutes of limitations applied by the state.

...

Chicago medical malpractice accountability, Illinois injury lawyerAs of 2011, Illinois ranked in the top 20 of medical state licensing boards’ serious doctor disciplinary action rates. The state reported 143 cases, resulting in an average of 3.45 serious actions per every 1,000 physicians from 2009 to 2011.

Doctors called into question for medical malpractice face the possibility of having their license suspended or revoked. However, this only limits medical practice in the state they are currently licensed and a doctor under investigation can still obtain licensure in other states.

According to a Bloomberg report, a general practitioner surrendered his license in Missouri “in lieu of discipline” for violation of several drug laws as part of a settlement agreement in 2009, but secured a license to practice in Illinois as he was being investigated.

...

medical malpractice cases rise, Chicago malpractice attorneyThe Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) study “To Err is Human” was published over a decade ago with medical malpractice statistics showing that between 44,000 and 98,000 patients are killed in hospitals every year as a result of medical errors, leading up to $29 billion in costs every year.

The study reported errors at different points of care, including the following examples:

  • Error or delay in diagnosis;
  • Error to act on results of testing or monitoring;
  • Error in administering treatment; and
  • Error during operation or procedure.

Fast forward 15 years and patient safety issues are still a rising concern in hospitals across the country. Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an article summarizing that, “on any given day, approximately one in 25 U.S. patients has at least one infection contracted during the course of their hospital care.”

...

electronic medical records, Chicago malpractice attorneyAccording to an article published by the American Academy of Family Physicians, doctors follow a risk management protocol when it comes to dealing with concerns surrounding possible cases of medical malpractice. The article refers to the “4 Cs” of risk management:

  • Compassion
  • Communication
  • Competence
  • Charting

The article, written by Richard G. Roberts, MD, stated that the greatest charting mistakes occur when physicians forget or fail to note what is important about a patient’s condition. A patient’s chart is the main source of information and a large part of the communication between medical providers on the case. A medical record oversight could lead to disastrous results.

For the past few years, the Obama administration has supported the idea of doctors and hospitals converting completely to electronic medical records. The goal is that electronic records make medical reporting more efficient and less costly. The government has already given billions of incentive dollars to hospitals for implementation of the conversion.

...
To Top