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Lake County medical malpractice attorneysNo one ever wants to visit an emergency room, but sometimes there is no other choice. When an immediate medical problem such as severe chest pain or difficulty breathing arises, the emergency room is the fastest way to receive treatment. However, emergency room staff are not perfect and sometimes they make mistakes. Some of these emergency room errors are relatively harmless while others have the potential to cause devastating or even fatal consequences. If you or a loved one have suffered from an emergency room mistake, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim.

Understanding How ER Errors Occur

It is estimated that roughly 5-10 percent of all emergency room visits involve some type of medical error. This equates to as many as 10 million ER mistakes every year in the United States. While not all such errors will cause lasting damage, some can be extremely serious. 

Some of the most common emergency room errors include:

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Lake County medical malpractice attorneysLosing a loved one is difficult no matter the circumstances. However, if the loved one’s death was preventable, the loss is especially heartbreaking and infuriating. Sadly, it is estimated that medical errors result in the deaths of over 250,000 people per year in the United States. This makes medical mistakes the third-leading cause of death. 

If you have lost a loved one and you suspect medical negligence played a role in his or her death, you may wonder when a doctor or medical facility is liable for a patient’s death. If your loved one’s death was the result of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss.

Proving That a Wrongful Death Was Caused by Medical Malpractice

Sometimes, a patient passes away and there is nothing that doctors and other medical workers could have done to prevent the death. However, this is not always the case. Failure to diagnose a medical condition or misdiagnosis, medication and anesthesia mistakes, surgical errors, or other forms of substandard medical treatment may result in the injury or death of a patient. 

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Waukegan wrongful death lawyersThe Illinois Wrongful Death Act can be difficult to understand and interpret correctly. As with many pieces of legislation, the way the law should be interpreted is established in large part through case law. Recently, the First District Appellate Court announced a ruling that demonstrates the complex nature of the Wrongful Death Act with regard to unborn fetuses. If you have lost an unborn child due to medical negligence, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn about your options under Illinois law.

Surgeon’s Failure to Recognize Pregnancy Leads to Elective Abortion

According to court records, when the Illinois woman bringing the unprecedented lawsuit was admitted to the hospital for an elective surgery, she did not know that she was pregnant. During presurgical assessment, samples of her blood and urine were tested and lab results showed an increased amount of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HGC), the so-called “pregnancy hormone,” in her system. Although the lab results indicated a possible pregnancy, the woman was allegedly assured that she was not pregnant and the surgical procedure continued. Unfortunately, the woman was, in fact, pregnant. She claims that she later learned that the medications and general anesthesia used during the surgery may have resulted in major fetal abnormalities. Because of this, the woman elected to terminate her pregnancy.  

Liability for Fetal Death May Lie With the Surgeon Who Failed to Recognize Pregnancy

Although the woman’s decision to have an abortion was her own choice, she only made this decision because the fetus could potentially suffer from deformities. These possible deformities would not have occurred if the surgeon had recognized that the woman was pregnant and canceled the original surgery. Because of this, the woman filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the surgeon.

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Waukegan personal injury attorneysAbout 55 percent of Americans take at least one prescription medication on a regular basis. Many more take prescription medication occasionally for temporary illnesses and injuries. We trust that the medications we are prescribed are safe, effective, and dosed accurately. Unfortunately, prescription medication errors occur every day. Some of these errors are minor and do not result in any significant harm to the patient while other medication mistakes result in serious injury or death. If you have been the victim of a major medication error, you may be entitled to compensation.

Medication Errors Can Result in Painful, Lingering Consequences

Last October, an Illinois man rushed to the emergency room after realizing he was the victim of a major medication mistake. The man had been prescribed Tobramycin-Dexamethasone eye drops by his doctor after developing a minor eye infection. However, when the man went to Walgreens to have the prescription filled, the pharmacy worker gave him ear drops. The man trusted that the medication he received was correct and used the drops in his eyes for five days before realizing that he had received the wrong medication. He experienced painful burning and swelling of his eyes that lasted for months.

Medication errors that lead to medical malpractice claims often involve mislabeled medication, inaccurate dosing, prescription or administration of a medication the patient is allergic to, drug interactions, and medication mix ups. Depending on the circumstances, the fault for medication errors may lie with the doctor who prescribed the medication, the nurse or other healthcare worker who administered the medication, or the pharmacist who filled the prescription. Liability may also be shared by the hospital, pharmacy, nursing home, or other medical facility at which the error occurred.

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Waukegan medical malpractice attorneysAccording to a recent study, over 4000 avoidable surgical errors occur every year in the United States. These mistakes can range in severity from relatively minor to catastrophic or even fatal. Some surgical errors are so unacceptable that researchers have nicknamed them “never events” because they should literally never happen. Unfortunately, these “never events” do happen and when they do, patients can suffer devastating consequences. Medical malpractice lawsuits involving surgical errors result in over a billion dollars in payouts to patients and families each year. If you or a loved one have suffered due to a surgical error, a medical malpractice claim may help you receive compensation.

Frequency of Major Errors During Surgery

Individuals who wish to become surgeons must typically undergo upwards of 13 years of education and training in order to meet the qualifications to perform surgical procedures. General surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, cardiothoracic surgeons, and other surgeons are trained to know how to avoid major surgical mistakes. Unfortunately, this does not prevent thousands of patients from suffering every year due to careless errors.

It is estimated that incidences of surgeons leaving foreign objects inside of patients’ bodies occur approximately 39 times each week. When surgeons leave objects like medical tools, sponges, and towels inside of patient bodies, the patients can suffer extreme pain, infection, and other complications. Surgery errors such as performing surgery on the wrong body part or performing the wrong surgical procedure are also startlingly common.

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