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Chicago medical malpractice lawyersIn a perfect world, patients would be guaranteed high quality medical care. They would not have to worry about receiving the wrong medication or being subjected to the wrong treatment. Conditions would be diagnosed as early as humanly possible, and it would be the correct diagnosis. Unfortunately, we do not live in this perfect world. Medical mistakes happen, and the very care that is supposed to heal a patient ends up killing them instead. Cancer and heart disease are missed, causing unnecessary death.

Thankfully, there are things that patients can do to protect themselves. They can be informed and aware of the problems that exist in healthcare industry. They can do research their doctors and care providers to ensure they are being treated by someone who is competent. They can empower themselves and actively participate in the care they receive. The following information can help you do just that.

Understand Your Risk

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Chicago medical malpractice attorneysThere is a growing problem inside of hospitals, one that most people do not know about and hospitals do not like talking about. It kills more individuals than car accidents, strokes, respiratory disease, diabetes, and suicide. In fact, the only two causes of deaths that trump this issue are cancer and heart disease. This killer is known as the preventable medical error.

Killer Doctors, Nurses, and Hospitals

Most people go to the hospital to get better, but each year, 251,000 U.S. citizens die at the hands of the doctors, nurses, and hospitals that are meant to heal them. It is not because their injuries are too severe to treat, or because they are simply too far gone. In fact, a large majority of these patients walk in with relatively minor problems, but because of substandard care, as many as 700 patients per day will never walk out again.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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