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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 lawyersSepsis is a serious, fast-moving, and potentially fatal infection that causes more deaths in America than heart attacks. Even more concerning is a recent analysis done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in which it was found that nearly two-thirds of the 258,000 annual fatalities were missed by doctors and nurses. In some cases, the oversight could be considered a negligent medical error. If you or someone you love has experienced a missed or delayed sepsis diagnosis that resulted in death or injury, know your rights, including your right to pursue compensation.

Sepsis: A Potentially Fatal Medical Emergency

Almost any patient can suffer from a case of sepsis. In fact, one man nearly died from sepsis that occurred after a paper cut. His case was caught quickly, thanks to the hospital’s nationally recognized sepsis prevention and detection plan. He did end up in a medically induced coma for three weeks to give his body time to heal, but the man ultimately made a full recovery.

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Chicago medical malpractice lawyersDoctors may be mere humans, just like the rest of us but, by default, they are held to a higher standard. We expect them to be rational, honest, and moral human beings. This is not irrational or asking too much. We are entrusting them with our lives, our secrets, the parts of us that are vulnerable. Yet there are far too many who are not worthy of that trust. Worse yet, you – their patient – may never know, and that could put you at risk for a medical injury.

Fit to Practice?

Nearly a decade ago, a Missouri doctor was investigated for healthcare fraud. Found guilty and convicted of a felony, he allegedly charged Medicare insurance for one drug but then injected cheaper, still experimental drugs into the eyes of his patients. Sometimes, he reportedly split the single-dose vials between to separate patients and then billed each one for a full dose. In total, this happened at least 284 times, which amounted to about $600,000 in excess charges to the government.

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Chicago medical malpractice lawyersWhen it comes to strokes, research indicates that the outcome of a patient can improve by as much as 80 percent if they are given prompt and early treatment. Unfortunately, for anywhere between 15,000 and 165,000 Americans per year, such treatment is not received because they are misdiagnosed - often with a condition that is benign in nature. Women, minorities, and younger patients may be at an especially high risk for this potentially deadly medical mistake.

Risk of Misdiagnosis Higher for Certain Stroke Sufferers

Conducted by Johns Hopkins University, one study found that emergency room doctors are as much as 30 percent more likely to overlook the symptoms of a stroke in women and minorities. That risk jumps even higher for patients under the age of 45 who, though less likely to suffer from stroke, are far from immune (about 34 percent of strokes occur in those under age 65).

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Illinois medical malpractice attorneysMost studies on medical malpractice have been conducted on the treatment received at hospitals, but Americans are most often treated by their primary care doctors. How does the care that they receive here measure up? According to one study, not so great. In fact, as many as 16 percent of all malpractice claims in 2013 were made against general practitioners. The following information highlights what every American should know about their risk of a medical error with their PCP.

Missed Diagnoses and Your PCP

In an analysis of 34 different studies on medical malpractice claims, researchers at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical School and Trinity College Dublin found that missed diagnoses of a serious (and often fatal) condition accounted for 26 to 63 percent of all malpractice claims against primary care providers. Heart attack, meningitis, and cancer were the most commonly missed conditions, but researchers also found cases in which primary care providers has missed fractures, ectopic pregnancies, and appendicitis in their patients. The most common consequence of diagnostic error was patient death (between 15 percent and 48 percent of all claims).

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Fall RiskThe family of a woman who sustained severe arm injuries after being dropped while under the care of the Mosaic of Lakeshore has filed a lawsuit against the facility.

On September 20, 2016, Tiba Thurmond, as Power of Attorney for Property of Rhonda Ridley, filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County against the defendant, alleging that the facility failed to provide proper care to Rhonda Ridley.

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Chicago medical malpractice lawyersMedical malpractice – medical treatment that is substandard to the point of causing harm, death, or injury to a patient – is now the third leading cause of death in the United States. What really constitutes malpractice, though, and do you tell if you have a case? While it is best to discuss your situation with an experienced legal professional, the following information may help you in determining whether or not you have a medical negligence case.

What Constitutes Medical Negligence?

Not every harm or injury sustained while receiving medical treatment can be classified as medical negligence. Hospitals, physicians, and nurses are only considered liable when their actions (or inaction) have caused injury or harm. In other words, the provider needs to have deviated from the standard practice of care (the quality of treatment that a competent doctor would have provided in a similar situation), and it needs to have caused an injury or harm to their patient. For example, if a doctor prescribes the wrong medication to a patient and it results in a severe allergic reaction, the doctor may be considered liable.

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Chicago Illinois medical malpractice lawyersEarlier this year, the BMJ published a frightening and ground-breaking report – medical error, or medical mistakes made during the course of treatment, cause more deaths than traffic accidents, construction accidents, diabetes, and even obesity. In fact, the only cancer and heart disease kill more people each year. Of course, we knew that death caused by medical error was an issue; back in 1998, the Institute of Medicine revealed that as many as 98,000 people died from medical mistakes.

Unfortunately, it would seem that the first report did little to remedy the problem. Now found to be responsible for as many as 251,000 deaths per year – about 700 deaths per day, and around 9.5 percent of all deaths annually in the United States – it would seem that the death toll has been steadily rising by about 15,000 extra deaths each and every year. That should be enough to scare anyone.

Hospitals Talk About Change

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Chicago IL medical malpractice attorneysEach year, more than 200,000 patients die from a preventable medical mistake and as many as four million more experience non-fatal errors that can delay treatment, compromise care, or otherwise put the patient at risk for serious injury or illness. And then there are those who experience willfully malicious acts (such as sexual abuse at the hands of their physician) that may or may not affect treatment or diagnosis but can cause great harm. 

Some incidents may be fairly clear-cut, with substantial evidence indicating negligence or medical malpractice. However, many may lack such evidence and, in some cases, the mistake (or its consequence) may not be immediately evident. For example, a patient who has cancer but is misdiagnosed may not learn until long after the fact. Either way, patients should know when and how to file a complaint against their doctor, should the need arise. 

When to File a Complaint 

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Chicago medical malpractice attorneysSavvy patients might know they need to research their doctor’s history. They may even know where to look. But what they may not realize is that the information provided on bad doctoring practices and the disciplinary actions taken against poor-performing physicians can vary greatly from one state to the next. Consumer Reports and the Informed Patient Institute – both nonprofit organizations dedicated to safety and advocacy – recently examined each state’s medical board website to determine just how complete the information was on the doctors they oversee. Each site was also graded on its ease of use. The results might surprise you. 

Best and Worst State Medical Board Websites 

A good state medical board website will provide patients with clear information regarding whether or not a physician has a complaint pending against them. Other information – such as the nature of that complaint, information indicating a history of drug abuse, and action taken against the physician – should also be included. The site should also be easy to navigate, regardless of whether a patient is looking to file a complaint or simply searching for information about a physician’s disciplinary history. 

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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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Chicago IL birth injury lawyersExpecting parents often imagine what it will be like to hold their baby for the first time, ponder what their first words will be, and may even envision the adult their child will eventually become. Sadly, some parents never see their hopes and dreams come to fruition. All that they had hoped for is taken away by a physician who made a horrible, permanent, irreversible, and preventable mistake. The injuries sustained by infants during these incidents are known as birth injuries.

Rate of Birth Injuries in the United States

Out of every 1,000 babies born in the United States, six to eight sustain an injury during birth. To put that into perspective, nearly four million babies are born in the U.S. each year. Of those, 24,000 to 28,000 sustain a birth injury. That is more than 2,000 infants per month, or approximately three each hour. So, while at first glance, the rate may seem inconsequential (just two percent of all births), the numbers show that an alarming number of parents must face heartbreak on what should be the happiest day of their lives.

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Nursing home residents and their families face more than the risk of abuse and neglect, a recent New York Times article reported. The multi-billion dollar industry has created a way to suppress the constitutional right of residents and their families of trial by jury when abuse and neglect occurs. Vulnerable consumers, desperate to sign agreements, are forced into mediation rather than lawsuits. Forced arbitration clauses, such as those found in nursing home agreements, favor corporations and prevent consumers from holding companies fully accountable. They make claims too expensive to pursue and provide little relief to customers that have been wronged by abusive practices.

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Chicago IL medical malpractice attorneysWhen absolutely necessary, amputations can save lives. Then there are other circumstances - a physician removes the wrong limb, performs an amputation on the wrong patient, or creates the need for amputation by failing to treat a patient in a timely manner.  These situations, along with many others, are considered wrongful amputations. If it has happened to you or someone you love, you may be due compensation. Know your rights and what steps you should take to pursue a claim.

Determining if Your Amputation Was Medically Necessary

Though a part of you was taken, and something feels “off” about the situation, you need evidence of a mistake to pursue a wrongful amputation case. Unfortunately, this can often be difficult to obtain. Even if a nurse, physician, surgeon, or other hospital staff was responsible – maybe by incorrectly inserting an IV catheter, accidentally cutting off circulation to a working limb, or failing to notice a loss of blood flow after a trauma – your amputation may be deemed “medically necessary.” Clues held within your medical records may show otherwise. 

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Former hematologist and oncologist Farid Fata, of Oakland County, Michigan, is serving 45 years in prison as a result of years of fraud and money-laundering. The doctor has faced lawsuits from 43 patients, and has supposedly administered unnecessary treatment to up to 533 patients from his oncology clinic Michigan Hematology Oncology, P.C. Last September, Fata pleaded guilty or no contest to money laundering, conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks, and health care fraud; still, these counts fail to fully encapsulate Fata’s misdeeds.

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CHICAGO DAILY LAW BULLETIN

By Lauraann Wood
Law Bulletin staff writer

A state appeals panel has ruled that jury awards for medical bills in injury cases cannot be reduced to account for the amount of bills the health provider writes off.

The opinion issued earlier this month in the Springfield-based 4th District Appellate Court addresses a long-standing debate between the state’s plaintiff bar and defense bar — which each offered their stance through bar group amicus briefs — regarding how medical bills and subsequent jury awards should be calculated.

In the underlying case, a Coles County jury awarded plaintiff Harold Miller $133,347 for medical expenses in his July 2015 medical-malpractice trial. Fifth Judicial Circuit Judge Brien J. O’Brien reduced the award by $91,724 when the defendant hospital and doctor argued that such a number represented an amount of money neither Miller nor his health-care provider had a right to recover since it was written off in his medical bills.

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The Telly Awards have announced “Amy Clark’s Story” and “The Hill Family Story” as bronze winners in the online video documentary category, created by Hurley McKenna and Mertz, P.C. and Sprout Films. With over 13,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, this is truly an honor.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_johnson.jpgA bedroom mirror reflects a young woman, hand on her arm, facing a worn teddy bear and plastic bottle of Johnson’s baby powder. The 1980s advertisement claims “It’s a feeling you never outgrow. The powder that kept you feeling soft as a baby keeps you feeling soft today. Johnson’s baby powder. It’s the softest powder there is.” Alleged “softness” aside, recent studies have shown genital use of powder is linked with 44 percent higher risk for ovarian cancer.

 

A number of lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson have brought the cancerous risks of talc (the main ingredient in Johnson’s Baby Powder) to the public’s attention. 49 year-old Deane Berg of Sioux Falls, S.D., an everyday user of the product for over 30 years, understood the talcum powder as the probable cause of her advanced ovarian cancer almost immediately.

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Posted on in Truck Accidents

Big rigs have the potential to take more than just your lane, as the trucking industry proposes changes to safety regulations that have the potential to harm fellow motorists. Big rigs crashes, also known as semi trucks, kill nearly 4,000 Americans and injury 85,000 every year. Despite the known danger these highway behemoths pose to their own and other drivers, few changes have been made to make the driving of these vehicles safer. Big rig fatalities have increased 17 percent since 2009, with big rig injuries also on the rapid rise.

 

There is no shortage of concern regarding the safety of these vehicles, yet the trucking industry continues to push for relaxed regulations. The trucking industry’s wish list seems oblivious to the risks that such large vehicles pose to motorists. They seek to raise the maximum weight from 80,000 to 91,000 pounds, lower the minimum age so drivers as young as 18 can take the wheel, eliminate a mandatory 2-night resting period for drivers working long weeks, and remove safety ratings of trucking firms from the public inspection. 

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Automakers increasingly tout the safety of their closely regulated and high-tech vehicles, often targeting families with younger, more vulnerable passengers. Advertisements show adoring parents buckling in small children, yet fail to acknowledge the fact that many backseat passengers face continual risk as a result of front seats too weak to avoid collapsing backwards, significantly harming the passenger directly behind them.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims the car’s safest place for children is in the backseat but frequently, this is not the case. Dangerously low seat standards, which have not been substantially updated since 1967,do not adequately protect automobile passengers.

Fixing seats to meet higher safety standards “would cost on the order of a dollar or so,” for automakers to accomplish per vehicle, claims one auto company engineer. 

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