Cirignani Heller & Harman, LLP
Call Us Now 866.346.8700
Call Us Today
Toll Free 866.346.8700 Chicago 312.346.8700 Free Evaluation
“A Firm With Attorneys Who Are Also Board-Certified Physicians”

Chicago Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Why Medical Expertise Matters When Choosing a Medical Malpractice Lawyer For Your Case

Stan-and-Jim-looking-at-medical-records.PNG

Medical malpractice work has always been the focus of our firm. About 20 years ago the firm decided to focus exclusively on medical malpractice cases because we have built in medical expertise.  Being a board-certified cardiologist allows me to help our clients understand where they stand as they consider whether filing a lawsuit is right for them.  I can take a look at the information they have and help them quickly assess what their next steps are. This process includes determining whether they have a case they should pursue or not and whether or not I need to look for more information.  

5 Qualities A Medical Malpractice Lawyer Would Want In His Lawyer

Top 5 Blue-gold.jpg

If truth was found in billboards one would think the key qualities for a medical malpractice lawyer are clenched fists (preferably around hundred dollar bills) and the willingness to kick butt. These, however, are the last characteristics I would look for if I needed a med mal lawyer. No matter what you've heard (or what these advertisers tell you) there are no get-rich-quick schemes in medical malpractice litigation, and arrogance is a character flaw, not a strength. If I needed a malpractice lawyer, here's what I would want:

What your lawyer doesn't know about birth-injuries can be devastating.

Couple Sad Grief Blutone.jpg

Joy and celebration should fill the home when a new child joins your family. But there are cases where sadness, fear and anxiety dominate the day. This is because sometimes our children are the victim of a birth injury. While advances in medical care and better training and attentiveness of doctors and nurses have brought down the incidence of birth injuries over the past decade (just below 0.2% of births in the U.S. in 2012 experienced some form of birth injury), the numbers are of little comfort to those families with a child injured at birth. They will likely face a wide range of emotions: heartache, anger, frustration, guilt, sadness, and, of course anxiety over an uncertain future for their child and their family. This is why understanding the cause of your child's injury is so important.

Flying is safer than surgery and it is no accident

AdobeStock_84110923.jpeg

The commercial aviation and the airline industry are subject to very strict government regulation. In the event of a crash, it is not the airline, nor the manufacturer that investigates what went wrong. No, a separate governmental agency, whose job is only to examine transportation disasters, handles the investigation.

Can your surgeon keep you safe from an operating room fire?

Operating Room Fire.jpg

Surgeons and patients are not thinking about fires when they enter a hospital operating room.  There are so many things that take priority at that moment. For the patient this is an opportunity to improve their quality of life.  For a surgeon this is what they are trained to do. Too often unfortunately they are not trained to prevent a fire in the operating room.  

Fires in the operating are considered rare*(between 500-600/year) but they are devastating for patients. Unfortunately for victims these are catastrophes that could be avoided. All it would take is proper training for surgeons and anesthiologists; and a commitment to communicating proper procedures as a surgical team. 

Infections remain a threat to patient safety

Doctor Scrubbing Up.jpgSurgical infections are a threat to every patient who undergoes any surgery. The skin is marvelously effective at protecting us from infection, but once that seal is broken, things can go terribly wrong. With much orthopedic surgery, the incision is necessary and the implant that may be used can itself carry additional risk of infection.

A message of hope for families affected by Cerebral Palsy (SlideShare)

White-Paper-Button.jpgWe 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

MedicalResearch.jpg

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.

surgeon.jpg

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 Report 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 traveling 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.