Articles Posted in Medical malpractice

Medical malpractice | May 27, 2016

A recent study found that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. The research extrapolated from data collected in previous studies and estimated that more than 250,000 Americans die each year because of mistakes in their medical care. That finding should be more than enough to inspire medical professionals to look for ways to improve. Unfortunately, the study and others like it are often dismissed in an industry stuck in its ways.

Medical malpractice insurance companies are motivated to help doctors and hospitals avoid the situations that lead to lawsuits. Insurers analyze their risk based on the malpractice claims filed against their clients. If a hospital or medical provider wants to avoid paying more for malpractice insurance, it may be compelled to make changes that improve patient safety. Mistakes that harm patients but don’t lead to a lawsuit are unlikely to lead to improvements to safety procedures.

Medical malpractice | February 19, 2016

Doctors often turn to extra tests and paperwork to try to reduce the odds of medical malpractice. They have taken to calling this practice “defensive medicine.” If one office visit or one scan will work, won’t two or three be even better, reducing the odds that a mistake will be made?

There is some merit to this. In the cases when a scan or a test does miss the mark, doing it multiple times could expose the truth. However, on the whole, experts say that this does not really make errors—or the lawsuits that go along with them—less likely.

Medical malpractice | January 19, 2016

If you or someone you love sought treatment at a hospital or clinic only to become far more ill, you might wonder whether you can file a medical malpractice claim.

Many people do not realize that not all medical mistakes or complications amount to medical malpractice under the law. How can you tell if you are dealing with medical malpractice or an honest mistake?

Medical malpractice | December 16, 2015

When a child is diagnosed with autism, it has a huge impact on the child’s life and the lives of the parents. However, doctors do sometimes make mistakes when determining whether or not a child has autism. Below are a few examples of how a misdiagnosis can occur.

First of all, the child could have other medical conditions that make him or her act differently. Children cannot always tell medical professionals what is wrong, so the behavior may be the only indicators that the doctor has.

Medical malpractice | October 16, 2015

Medical misdiagnoses are as common as they are dangerous. In all likelihood, you or someone you love has suffered a misdiagnosis or a late diagnosis.

While it is not known how many diagnostic mistakes take place every day in clinics and hospitals throughout Chicagoland, a recent study shows most Americans will receive a wrong diagnosis at least once in their lives. In some cases, these lead to terrible consequences for patients and their families, making diagnostic errors the most common mistake leading to successful medical malpractice claims.

Medical malpractice | September 24, 2015

Most of the time, negligence in a medical setting is accidental. A doctor does not check a patient’s records because he forgets, for example, or a doctor operates on the wrong site because she got bad information from the prep team. Doctors can still be liable in these situations because they should have worked harder to avoid them, but these things are still accidents.

However, in some rare cases, doctors can be accused of willful negligence. This is when the doctor intentionally makes mistakes or does not provide the proper level of care. For example, a doctor could give a patient the wrong medication – perhaps a medication that the patient is allergic to – because he or she wants the patient to feel the adverse effects.

Medical malpractice | August 6, 2015

When most people think of the concept of medical malpractice, they imagine a situation where a doctor’s error has clearly injured a patient. Things like conducting surgery on the wrong site of a patient’s body or prescribing the wrong types of medications to treat a patient’s illnesses are clear-cut examples of medical malpractice.

However, it’s important for you to know that medical malpractice also occurs whenever any medical practitioner fails to treat patients in his or her care with the same standard of care that is generally accepted throughout the entire medical community.

Medical malpractice | June 30, 2015

Recent advances in medical sciences mean that many of us will live longer lives than our predecessors. One of the unfortunate consequences of that enhanced longevity is that a significant portion of us will experience having our parents or other loved ones suffer from diseases associated with advanced age. Diseases that primarily affect a patient’s cognitive abilities like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s can make it impossible for those victims to live without full-time supervision and care.

Many people are simply not capable of providing that level of care. Instead, many people rely on nursing homes and other long term care facilities to provide those services for their loved ones. Unfortunately, a handful of these facilities attempt to keep these patients drugged using antipsychotic medications in an effort to control them. Alzheimer’s patients are particularly prone to episodic violent outbursts. Sometimes, medical care providers can abuse antipsychotic medications in an effort to limit such behavior.

Medical malpractice | May 26, 2015

If a hospital visit has left you or loved one with end of unexpected injury or illness, there are a few things you should know. Most of us have a general understanding that health care workers have a duty to exercise reasonable care when treating patients. Generally, those standards of care are established by what other health care professionals would consider necessary and appropriate for each situation. For example, a doctor who performs surgery on the wrong part of a patient’s body would not be performing his or her duties in accordance with generally accepted medical practices.

It’s important for you to know that these standards of care also extend to all manner of medical services. This is true regardless of whether you are a patient living in a nursing home or a parent seeking help with the delivery of your unborn child. Health care workers can also commit medical malpractice when they create pharmacy errors, fail to properly diagnose their patients and even when they administer improper amounts of medications.

Medical malpractice | March 18, 2015

Frequent readers of our internet blog may remember an article we wrote previously regarding the procedures hospitals use to report infections within their facilities. In that article, we noted that post-surgical infections developed by U.S. patients are estimated to cause approximately 8,000 deaths annually.

Medical malpractice is a legal concept that at its core stands for the principle of trust. As patients, we place our trust in the competence and dedication of our health care providers to prevent avoidable injuries from causing us harm. Doctors, nurses and hospitals can breach that trust when they fail to exercise reasonable care to limit the exposure of their patients to preventable infections.

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