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Lake County personal injury attorneysThe death of a loved one is difficult no matter what the circumstances are. However, losing a loved one because of a medical professional’s negligence can be absolutely devastating. We trust doctors, dentists, nurses, nurses’ aides, surgeons, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals to be competent in performing their duties. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, research conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests that medical mistakes are the third-most leading cause of death in the United States. If you have lost a loved one because of a medical professional’s negligence, carelessness, or intentional wrongdoing, a wrongful death lawsuit may help you hold the negligent party accountable.

When Is a Medical Professional Considered Negligent?  

As hard as doctors and other healthcare professionals try, sometimes, a loved one simply cannot be saved, and not every patient’s death is the result of a medical mistake. Knowing when a medical professional is liable for death is not always easy. A medical professional is considered negligent when the following conditions are present:

  • The professional owed a “duty of care” to the patient, meaning he or she had an obligation to provide competent treatment that meets the prevailing standard of care. The prevailing standard of care is typically defined as the care that a reasonable medical professional with a similar background and training would have provided under the same circumstances.
  • The professional breached his or her duty of care meaning the professional did not provide reasonably competent medical care.
  • The patient’s injury or death was directly caused by the medical professional’s failure to uphold his or her duty of care.
  • Quantifiable damages resulted from the patient’s injury or death. 

Damages can include medical expenses like hospital bills, nursing home bills, prescription medication costs, laboratory fees, and costs related to surgery. Through a wrongful death claim, you may also be able to get compensation for funeral and burial expenses, the loss of your loved one’s current income and future earnings, and your loved one’s pain and suffering before his or her death. If you have lost your spouse or child’s parent, you may also be eligible for compensation for the loss of consortium and the loss of parental guidance for your children.

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Waukegan personal injury attorneyInfluenza is a highly contagious viral infection that is often called “the flu.” An influenza infection can range in severity from mild to moderate. Some people get the flu and are able to recover on their own in a relatively short amount of time. Other people get the flu and die from the illness. In order to help prevent the spread of influenza, many people take a flu vaccine. Ten people from a facility for the intellectually disabled had to be rushed to the hospital after a medical mistake resulted in them receiving insulin instead of the flu. It is not known at this time whether or not the victims of this mistake will file medical malpractice claims or not.

Disabled Patients Given Insulin Instead of a Vaccine

Staff at the Oklahoma care facility in which the outrageous mix-up occurred decided that they wanted to provide flu shots for patients and employees. They contacted an experienced pharmacist who was not affiliated with the facility to administer flu vaccines. Unfortunately, the pharmacist accidentally administered insulin to the patients and staff instead of the influenza vaccine. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar and is usually only given to individuals with diabetes. Receiving too much insulin can cause a person’s blood sugar to plummet – sometimes to fatal levels. While the victims of this medical mistake are expected to recover, the situation could have been much worse. Police chief Tracy Roles explained that “it could certainly have been very, very tragic.”

Medical Malpractice Is Shockingly Common

Unfortunately, this mix-up is not an isolated incident. In fact, an almost identical mistake was made at a school in Indianapolis. In September, 16 students received insulin instead of a tuberculosis skin test. Adverse drug events cause approximately 1 million emergency department visits every year. One study estimates that preventable medication errors cost almost $21 billion annually. Medical mistakes like these should not happen.

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Waukegan medical malpracticeWhen you go to your family doctor or visit the emergency room, you probably trust that any medication you are given will be safe and effective. While the majority of the time this is true, dangerous medication errors happen every day in medical facilities across the country. When medical negligence causes a person harm, he or she has the right to seek compensation for their damages through a medical malpractice claim. Read on to learn about some of the most common medication mistakes made by healthcare professionals and what you should do if you or someone you love was a victim of medical malpractice.

Types of Prescription Medication Mistakes

Medication mistakes can occur during physician prescribing, hospitalization, and pharmacy dispensation. Unfortunately, data shows that medication errors are extremely common. It is estimated that over 7 million people are affected by preventable medication mistakes every year.

Medication errors can occur when a doctor, nurse, healthcare provider, or pharmacist:

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Lake County medical malpractice attorneysYou may be shocked to learn that medical mistakes are the third-most leading cause of death in the United States. One Johns Hopkins study estimates that as many as 400,000 people pass away every year due to medical mistakes in the U.S. alone. When you or a loved one has an unexpected medical emergency, you may drive to the emergency room to get the medical care you need. Although the majority of hospital emergency rooms safely provide the life-saving care that patients need without error, emergency room mistakes do happen.

ER Mistakes Can Be Devastating to the Victim

When someone experiences a drastic change in their health, they usually go to the emergency room. Because emergency room doctors and other medical staff are often dealing with high-stakes, time-sensitive medical emergencies, they must use extreme caution and focus when attending to patients. Unfortunately, studies show that as much as 5-10 percent of all emergency room visits involve mistakes. Some of these mistakes will not make a notable difference in the patient’s condition, but others can be the difference between whether the patient lives or dies. Some of the most common emergency room mistakes include:

  • Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis including inappropriate response to signs and symptoms of heart attacks and strokes
  • Medication errors including overmedicating, under-medicating, or giving patients the wrong medication or dosage
  • Failure to obtain proper patient medical history
  • Misuse of a medical device
  • Misinterpretation of laboratory test results
  • Unhygienic conditions which lead to an infection
  • Failure to provide appropriate medical treatment
  • Administrative mistakes including confused patient files and mislabeled test results

Pursuing Compensation for Medical Mistakes

Victims of medical malpractice may be left with significant economic and noneconomic damage, including enormous medical bills, a worsened medical condition, and significant pain and suffering. A mistake made in the emergency room could be the difference between recovering from a major health issue and not improving at all. 

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Posted on in Medical Malpractice

Lake County personal injury attorney

When a medical professional is negligent, the ramifications for patients can result in serious injury and even death. Medical malpractice is when a health provider has acted negligently, resulting in injury or harm to the patient. For medical negligence victims, it is important to understand what is needed to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

First and foremost, the victim and their attorney must be able to prove the negligent actions of the medical professional directly caused the injuries suffered. In medical malpractice cases, the legal process can be long and complicated. In order to ensure your family is awarded the financial compensation you deserve, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney

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