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Chicago Medical Malpractice Law Blog

SlideShare Provides A Reference For Families Dealing With Cerebral Palsy

We frequently work with families struggling to understand a cerebral palsy diagnosis, including what caused the condition and how it will impact their child's future. To provide a resource and starting place for these families, we recently published a white paper titled "Cerebral Palsy: A Message Of Hope For Illinois Families."

The most important piece of information that we want to convey to families is the message of hope. CP is the most common childhood disability, but affects each child differently. While not curable, advances in technology and therapy options allow children with CP to thrive.

U.S. Senate cannot overlook patient safety in the 21st Century Cures Act

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It is very likely that you are not familiar with some rather important legislation being considered by Congress regarding the funding and approval for medication and medical device development. Unless you are in the medical field or involved in politics, you may have never even heard of the 21st Century Cures Act.

The 21st Century Cures Act is health care legislation aimed at keeping the U.S. competitive in the medical research industry. Essentially, it would provide billions of dollars of funding to the National Institutes of Health agency and "streamline" the path to approving new medications and medical devices. However, even though the measure cleared the House last month, there continues to be considerable debate over whether will help or harm patient care.

New white paper available for families affected by cerebral palsy

CP.PNGAfter learning your child has cerebral palsy (CP), you probably have many questions and may not know where to turn for answers. We have compiled a resource that provides a starting point to your research.

We answer basic questions about CP:

  • How do symptoms differ and when will you know the severity of your child's symptoms?
  • What causes the condition and why did this happen to your child?
  • Where can you turn for help?

CP affects each child differently, but technology and therapy options have opened many avenues for children with CP to thrive and keep pace with their peers.

Does your surgeon make the cut? Find out with this tool.

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Patient safety should be the top priority of every hospital and medical professional. Unfortunately, it seems that when a procedure is not performed regularly by a surgeon the risk to their patient jumps significantly. For example, the national death rate from a knee replacement surgery is about 1 in 1000. Patients that have that surgery done at a hospital that does not regularly perform it are 3 times more likely to die than those that do perform it regularly.

A recent story on National Public Radio noted this issue and highlighted some positive steps a few of the countries leading teaching hospitals are taking to prevent these unnecessary risks to the safety of their patients.

According to the story U.S. News & World Rport did an analysis of Medicare Data and found that low volume hospitals were putting their patients at risk by performing these surgeries. Especially since, in many cases, patients would be able to have their procedure done at a high-volume hospital by travelling an extra 30 or so minutes.  

The U.S. News report was taken to heart by three of the nation's leading medical institutions, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Michigan. All three say that surgeons who do not routinely perform some complex, non emergency, surgeries will no longer be allowed to.  Among the procedures listed are knee replacements, Hip replacements, bariatric surgery and some cancer and thoracic procedures.

Be Safe this Fourth of July Weekend (Infographic)

65910459_thumbnail.jpgWe hope that every one has a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend. After all taking time to relax and enjoy the company of friends and family is an important part of our lives.  However even under the best circumstances accidents happen. Accidents and illness unfotunately do not take holidays off and sometimes a trip to the hospital or ER is necessary.  

In the past we've talked about "the July effect". A time when teaching hospitals experience a sharp increase in medication errors - which just happens to coincide with the arrival of new residents and the departure of many of the seasoned staff members.  Leaving many visitors at risk for patient safety errors.  

4 things to consider when looking for a medical malpractice attorney

Choosing-a-lawyer.jpgMedical care is not perfect, despite all the advancements in medicine and research. However, there are established standards of care that should be observed in order to provide patients with medical treatments that are appropriate, approved and reasonable.

Unfortunately, the decisions doctors, nurses and hospitals make are not always in line with these standards and the patients can be left to pay the price. If and when a mistake is made or poor judgment is exercised and it leads to the death of a loved one, it can be extremely difficult to get straightforward and honest answers from these same parties. 

Brain Injuries during surgery are almost always preventable

Brain Injury.jpgSurgeries are never risk-free. They can result in unintended injuries, even under the best care; however, there are some types of injuries that raise an immediate red flag to lawyers who focus on medical negligence cases. Brain injuries during surgery are one of those types of "red-flag" injuries. In other words, they are the type of injury that should almost never occur, especially in young, healthy patients. 

Here is a brief overview how and why brain injuries occur during surgeries.

It is important to understand that the immediate cause of nearly all surgical brain injuries is insufficient oxygen supply. In other words, something (the initiating cause) leads to the brain getting deprived of oxygen and, unless reversed, will cause death of the brain tissue.

Health information technology is not immune to human error

Electronic-Health-Records.JPGDoctors can make mistakes when calculating the proper dosage of a medication. They can fail to read a patient's chart before prescribing a certain type of medication. In other cases, a patient's chart may be missing information vital for a doctor to designate the appropriate course of treatment.

The examples listed above only scratch the surface of the types of doctor errors that can lead to serious, and preventable, injuries to patients. Over the past few years the health care industry has begun introducing health information technology (health IT) and electronic health records (EHRs) to help reduce the potential for human errors. While the aim of health IT is to reduce doctor errors it still relies on humans to use and maintain it and as we all know humans make errors.

Are you Choosing a good Medical Malpractice Attorney?

IMG_0965.JPGMedical malpractice is one of the most intricate areas of law. The processes and details involved are extensive and expensive.  It is important that a law firm have the right experience, the right expertise and the resources to to support their clients and their case throughout the process. 

It is not uncommon for a medical malpractice case to take between three to five years to be resolved.  Whether that settlement is a verdict in a trial or a settlement having an experienced attorney to help you is important.  

Doctors. hospitals and insurance companies have a strong network of legal support behind them, that means picking an attorney and a law firm to represent you is an important first step.  Here are 3 things to consider as you choose an attorney to represent you or your loved ones:

7 Steps to Give Proper Informed Consent

IMG_0932.JPGOne thing you can always count on during a trip to the doctor's office is signing some paperwork.  There will probably be an intake document that provides or confirms your information as well as discloses the reason for your visit. You will also likely have a form explaining your HIPPA rights. Also among the forms you receive, you may find an informed consent form.

An informed consent form gives a doctor your permission to proceed with a procedure or treatment.  To be a truly informed patient you should wait and sign that form until you have had a chance to sit with your doctor and discuss what it allows the doctor to do, what the risks are, and what the alternatives are. While these forms are not a guarantee that things will go smoothly they allow you, the patient, to be confident in your decision to proceed with or decline treatment based on the best information you can gather. 

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