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Chicago Medical Malpractice Law Blog

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. 

How hackers could compromise patient safety during surgery

In recent years, huge strides have been made in terms of using advanced technology to solve or address medical issues. One such advancement has been the increase of robotics in operating rooms. Robotics allows surgeons to perform an operation on someone even when he or she is in another location and can be a vital resource, but they are far from perfect.

We have discussed some of the issues that plague robotic surgical equipment on this blog. For example, doctors may not be properly trained on a specific device and could end up making a huge, life-threatening mistake. However, researchers believe that there could be another very real issue regarding the control of these robots that may have been overlooked.

Failure to update medical records can have tragic consequences

Record-keeping is one of the most fundamental aspects of effective medical care. Over the years, technological advancements have made it possible to share and track patient information easier so that people can be confident doctors are treating them based on accurate, updated information.

Unfortunately, manual and technological errors continue to be made, jeopardizing the care people receive. In some cases, these mistakes and missing information can be fixed relatively easily, but that doesn't always happen in time to prevent a tragic incident. For example, one woman suffered a devastating stroke that left her paralyzed after giving birth. Sadly, the entire incident could have been prevented.

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.

When it comes to malpractice claims, is it all about location?

Suffering an injury or illness at the hands of someone who is supposed to make you feel better can be extraordinarily upsetting. Patients who wake up from surgery feeling worse than before and people whose condition deteriorates while in the hospital have every right to feel mad, confused, frustrated and extremely disappointed. They also have the right to take legal action in many cases.

However, medical malpractice claims can be very complicated, so it is often wise to have the support of an attorney. Legal guidance can be crucial when it comes to pursuing a claim against a negligent doctor, nurse or hospital, as every decision that is made has the potential to impact the result. For example, identifying the proper jurisdiction can prove to be a critical factor in successful malpractice claims.

How bullies are affecting patient care in hospitals

Hospitals can be very stressful environments. People are sick, families are worried and hospital workers are rushing between patients trying to see as many as they can. Throughout the testing, surgeries, recovery and discharge, patients and doctors alike can be dealing with overwhelming anxiety.

Unfortunately, for some doctors, this environment proves to be unmanageable and they end up reacting with anger, aggression and even violence in some cases. This has contributed to a so-called epidemic of doctors acting as bullies and lashing out at other hospital workers. So, how is this affecting patient care?

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.

Doctors urged to choose wisely when picking PICC lines

We have often discussed the risks that dangerous, defective or improperly labeled medication can present. However, sometimes it's not the medication itself that poses a threat to patients. In some cases, a patient can suffer medical complications because of how the medication is administered.

For example, a recent study into peripherally inserted central catheters, or PICC, revealed that the use of these PICC lines can increase a patient's risk of forming blood clots.d

Health information technology isn't immune to human error

Doctors 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. The health care industry has introduced health information technology (health IT) and electronic health records (EHRs) to help reduce the potential for human errors that lead to medical malpractice claims in Chicago and across the country.

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