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Chicago Medical Malpractice Law Blog

If Tracked Accurately Medical Errors Would Be The 3rd Leading Cause of Death in U.S.

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Change is hard.  At some point in time everyone has had to try to change a habit in order to improve at something.  That kind of change is hard because people get comfortable in their routines. That kind of change is difficult because people have to act deliberately to avoid slipping into their old habits.  That kind of change is difficult because sometimes it begins to change the way people interact with other elements of their lives.  It is that kind of change that researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine would like to see at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These researchers are calling on the CDC to add medical errors to its annual list of the top causes of death in the United States.

The research that was done at Johns Hopkins estimates that there are over 250,000 deaths in the United States every year as a result of medical errors.  If these were included on the CDC's list as it exists now it would put medical errors as the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. 

Do You Know How The Statute of Limitations Affects Your Case?

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One thing that sets medical malpractice apart from other legal issues is the challenge of understanding if you are, in fact, a victim.  You may have gone in for a simple medical procedure six months ago and yet now you find yourself in a hospital bed.  Or you may have had a loved one pass away after/during treatment at a hospital. Dealing with the issues of this new reality can be overwhelming on their own without adding the possibility that there was medical malpractice involved.

One of the most frustrating things about being a victim of medical malpractice or medical negligence is that, as you deal with the many issues surrounding your injury, the time you have to take action is steadily ticking away. You may wonder if you should focus on your recovery or on managing the issues around your loved one's death before you look into filing a malpractice lawsuit. That can make it very difficult for you to be made whole or find justice.

Overwhelmed by Medical Malpractice? Your Lawyer Should Help You Overcome It

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It is a terrible moment for anyone, when they have to consider the fact that their doctor, surgeon, or other medical professional has made a mistake. It is all the more unfortunate because that mistake has likely had a shattering effect on the lives of the victim and their friends and family.

Whatever the case may be, victims of medical malpractice face new and difficult realities. From permanent disabilities or disfigurements to the death of a loved one their old version of "normal" is shattered. On top of these negative effects, there are very real and very expensive financial hardships associated with the mistake that was made. All of this can make for a very overwhelming "new reality" for victims.

At some point, people who find themselves in these situations will want things to return to how they were before.  They may want justice. They may want accountability. They may want relief from the financial hardship they have been subjected to.  It could very likely be some combination of all of this that they are looking for and unfortunately this is just the start of a difficult process.

Can Hospitals be Transparent Enough to keep Patients Safe?

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Patient safety is always spoken of in terms of being the most important factor in healthcare. After all, if a patient suffers harm at the hands of the healthcare system, it eliminates any good individual doctors or nurses may have achieved.

Research on harm suffered by thousands of patients every year suggests the current system is far from adequate. Studies point to hundreds of thousands of deaths every year caused by medical error or mistakes made by doctors and hospitals.

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

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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

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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.

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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

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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?

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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.