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Orland Park medical malpractice lawyersOne of the most devastating diagnoses someone can ever receive is a cancer diagnosis. However, once a person has been diagnosed with cancer, they can begin treatment. The sooner a patient learns his or her diagnosis, the sooner they can begin exploring their options, speaking with medical experts, and starting down the road to recovery. When cancer is not caught quickly, there is typically a greater chance of the cancer spreading throughout the body. In many cases, an early cancer diagnosis and swift treatment regimen can save someone’s life. However, when a doctor fails to diagnosis cancer or misdiagnoses it as something else, the patient may experience unnecessary pain and suffering and worsened health. The diagnostic mistake may even cost the patient his or her life.

Diagnostic Mistakes Involving Cancer

There are two main types of diagnostic mistakes regarding cancer: failure to property diagnose cancer and diagnosing cancer when the patient does not actually have cancer. More commonly, a person does have cancer but doctors do not take the appropriate steps to recognize and treat the cancer. It is often very difficult to know if a doctor has made a diagnostic error. Doctors and other healthcare professionals are not omniscient. They cannot always know for sure what is wrong with a patient. However, there are some cases where a doctor’s diagnostic mistake constitutes medical negligence.  

Inadequate Testing and Improper Testing May Lead to Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer

Some medical tests are able to detect cancer before a patient even exhibits symptoms. Cervical cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer may be detected through various types of scans. However, if a medical professional does not perform the test correctly or misinterprets the scan, a patient with cancer may be told that he or she does not have cancer. Cancer is not always detectable via scans and tests. In cases like these, doctors should use the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and family history to help make a diagnosis.

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Will County birth injury attorneysIf you are a parent of a child who was injured or who died during birth, you may be desperate for answers. Birth injuries typically include injuries that an infant suffers in utero, during labor and delivery, or shortly after being born. Minor birth injuries such as scrapes or bruises clear up in a few days and do not affect the infant long-term. Other birth injuries lead to life-long disabilities and medical complications. While some birth injuries are unavoidable, others are the direct result of medical negligence. When determining whether a birth injury was caused by the negligent or wrongful actions of a medical professional, courts use the “applicable standard of care.”

Medical Mistakes and Birth Injuries

Medical professionals are human. They make mistakes. However, physicians and other medical professionals are held to a very high standard when it comes to patient care. If a medical mistake is egregious or results in preventable harm to a patient, the mistake may not be excusable. Many parents of children who have suffered or passed away because of a birth injury wonder if the doctor or the medical facility at which their child was born is to blame. The answer to this question is often hard to determine. Medical malpractice attorneys gather evidence from a range of sources when investigating suspected or alleged malpractice. They often consult with medical experts to determine if a doctor or hospital’s conduct deviated from the norm.

Components of a Medical Malpractice Claim

There are four components to a medical malpractice claim:

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Will County birth injuries lawyerEvery parent hopes for just one thing when they prepare for the birth of a child: a healthy baby. So, in cases where a baby is born with broken bones or another ailment, the special day can turn into a nightmare for the parents.

Birth injuries such as broken bones sustained during labor can leave a baby in a lot of pain and even the possibility of long-term disability. Unfortunately, the injury is commonly a result of medical negligence in which a doctor does not notice that a baby is too big to pass through the birth canal without injury. In such a case, the doctor should order for a cesarean birth to make the process easier for both mother and baby.

How do I Know if My Baby Was Born with a Broken Bone?

Babies can feel the pain of a broken bone just as easily as an adult can, but they cannot tell their parents or the doctor what is the source of their pain. According to the Birth Injury Guide, a clavicle (collarbone) break is the most common injury after a complicated delivery. It can be the result of not enough room for the baby to pass through the birth canal or too hard of a pull from the person delivering the baby.

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Cook County medical malpractice lawyer anesthesiology error injurySurgery with anesthesia always poses some risks to the patient. Many patients choose to proceed with a surgery even after being informed of the risk that the surgery might not have the desired results, because the consequences of not having the surgery are equally dire. Injuries and deaths can happen even when the surgical team does everything right according to current medical standards and best practices. Thus, not every injury resulting from a surgical procedure can be claimed as medical malpractice. However, if you or a loved one have suffered a significant personal injury or wrongful death with substantial financial damages as the result of medical incompetence or negligence during a surgery with anesthesia, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Risk Factors for Surgery with Anesthesia

Certain health factors can increase the risks of anesthesia, including:

  • Obesity can make it harder to determine the correct dosage of anesthetic to administer and to ensure that a patient receives enough oxygen.
  • Age-related conditions such as cardiac disease, prior stroke, clogged arteries, and high blood pressure can increase the risk of complications during surgery.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea and other conditions that affect breathing can cause a dangerous loss of oxygen during surgery, which could result in brain damage or death.

Prior to any surgery, your surgeon and anesthesiologist should conduct a careful assessment of your health to identify specific risks and ways to mitigate those risks. If the surgical team fails to account for all relevant health conditions when planning and performing the surgery, you could have a valid claim for compensation for damages incurred.

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Cook County chiropractor injury attorneyWhen you think about suing a doctor for medical malpractice, the specialties that first come to mind are probably surgeons, obstetricians, or other medical providers. However, any state-licensed medical or “healing arts” professional, including chiropractors, naprapaths, acupuncturists, and nurse-anesthetists, can be sued for negligence resulting in serious injury to a patient 

Examples of Chiropractic Malpractice

Because chiropractors often manipulate or adjust the spine and neck, it is possible for a patient’s existing injuries to be made significantly worse or even for new injuries to occur. Examples of malpractice by a chiropractor include:

  • Failure to obtain a thorough patient history and perform a proper examination prior to treatment, resulting in a treatment inappropriate given the patient’s pre-existing conditions that causes serious additional injury to the patient.
  • Negligence in performing manipulations, such as using too much force, which can result in a herniated disk, nerve damage leading to paralysis, or arterial damage leading to stroke.
  • Misdiagnosis of the cause of pain, resulting in delayed treatment of the patient for the true problem. 

Examples of Acupuncture Risks and Practitioner Negligence 

Negligence in the practice of acupuncture can lead to serious injury or even death. Three common ways that an acupuncturist might be found negligent include:

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Oak Lawn medical malpractice lawyer prescription drug errorMedication side effects are a leading cause of injury and death in children, leading to roughly 200,000 emergency room visits per year. However, before you accuse your child’s physician of medical malpractice, remember that you play an important role in helping to avoid medication errors that could hurt your child.

14.7 Million U.S. Children Are at Risk for Medication Errors

A recent study reported that 20 percent of U.S. children take at least one prescription medication, putting them at risk for dangerous side effects. The more medications a child takes, the greater the risk of drug interactions and adverse events. An estimated 5 percent of all U.S. children regularly take two or more prescription drugs, and roughly 8 percent of them are at risk for major drug interactions that could have serious side effects. 

Teens on Antidepressants Have Greatest Risk for Drug Interactions

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), run under the auspices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), examines 5,000 people per year. A recent review of data collected by this survey found that teenage girls taking antidepressant medications are at the highest risk for drug interactions.

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Tinley Park birth injury lawyer maternal deathYou may be shocked to learn that the number of U.S. women who died while giving birth has risen over the past 15 years, from 700 deaths in 2000 to 1,063 in 2015. Over the same 15-year period, the U.S. maternal mortality ratio rose from 17.5 to 26.4 deaths per 100,000 live births. Of course, not all of those deaths are attributable to medical malpractice. But these statistics do raise questions. Why has the maternal mortality ratio in the U.S. gone up? Why are maternal death rates are so much higher in some states than others? Are some of these deaths preventable?

California, for example, has a maternal death ratio of just 4.5, while Illinois has a reported ratio of 14.7. An Illinois study published in 2014 suggested that roughly one-third of maternal deaths in Illinois could have been prevented. 

Preventable Maternal Deaths During Childbirth

Some birth injuries leading to maternal death are blamed on poverty, lack of access to health care services, and untreated chronic conditions such as obesity, smoking, substance abuse, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and mental health disorders.

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Orland Park medical malpractice attorneyWhen you are sick or injured, you trust doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers to care for you. The responsibility that medical professionals have to their patients is like no other profession. When a hospital or medical professional makes a mistake, the results can be catastrophic. Tragically, medical mistakes and negligence are increasingly prevalent problems that leave thousands injured or killed every year.

Medical Errors Now Account for a Staggering Number of Deaths

The Latin phrase “Primum non noceere” which means, “First, do no harm,” is often recited by physicians as a promise to uphold their responsibility to keep patients safe from injury. Unfortunately, this promise is not always kept. Most people are aware that there are instances when medical professionals fail to do the job they have a sworn duty to do but have no idea how prevalent the problem really is. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that medical negligence—instances when health professionals cause injury to a patients—is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Only heart disease and cancer kill more Americans than medical malpractice. Many of the victims of medical negligence seek financial compensation for their injuries. The issue is so pervasive that over $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts in 2012 alone. This works out to an astounding one payout every 43 minutes.

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