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Il malpractice lawyerIf you or a loved one recently required surgery to treat a medical condition and something went wrong, you are probably looking for answers. You may question if the problem you or your loved one encountered during surgery was the fault of a medical professional’s negligence or the result of a surgical mistake. You may also wonder what your legal options are if you were the victim of medical malpractice. Surgical errors are rare, but when they occur, the results can be life-changing.

Surgical Mistakes Can Lead to Preventable Patient Suffering

Surgeons and other medical professionals are human and they sometimes make mistakes. However, when a mistake is egregious or the result of the medical professional’s negligent behavior, the professional may be guilty of medical malpractice. Examples of surgical errors that may justify a medical malpractice claim include:

  • Improper sanitation of equipment or devices that leads to patient infection
  • Surgical mistakes resulting in nerve damage or internal organ damage
  • Use of contaminated or defective equipment
  • Administering the wrong type of medication or the wrong dose of medication during surgery
  • Using a surgical technique that is unnecessarily risky
  • Performing unneeded surgery

Some surgical errors are so unacceptable that they are called “never events” because they should never happen. Never events include:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_er-malpractice.jpgEmergency rooms are often chaotic, high-stress environments. ER doctors, nurses, and other staff deal with time-sensitive medical crises all day. They handle everything from broken bones caused by car accidents to heart attacks and strokes. If you or a loved one received substandard treatment in an emergency room or were the victim of an ER mistake, you may wonder whether the emergency room staff’s conduct constituted medical malpractice. There are many factors involved in emergency room medical malpractice claims, so it is best to discuss your concerns with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

ER Doctors and Medical Staff Have a Legal Duty to Provide Competent Care

When a person visits the emergency room, a positive outcome is not guaranteed. Sometimes, saving a patient from injury or death is not possible. However, there are some cases in which an ER patient is harmed because a doctor or other staff makes an unacceptable mistake. ER medical malpractice occurs when the following elements are present:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed. To have a valid medical malpractice claim, you must be an actual patient in the ER. For example, you cannot sue an ER nurse for inadequate treatment that he or she provided during a social gathering.
  • You received negligent care. A doctor or other medical professional acts negligently when he or she provides care that fails to meet the accepted “standard of care.” This standard of care refers to the degree of skill and competency that an average medical professional in the same position would have provided in similar circumstances. Testimony from expert witnesses is often used to establish whether or not a medical professional’s care violated the standard of care during a medical malpractice claim.
  • You suffered harm because of the negligent care. Proving that an ER doctor or nurse provided substandard care is not enough to satisfy the criteria for medical malpractice. You must also show that you suffered harm or “damages” because of the negligent care. Damages in an ER medical malpractice claim may include additional medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages from missed work, reduced income-earning capacity, and other losses.

Contact a Waukegan ER Negligence Lawyer

If you suspect that you or a loved one were the victims of emergency room malpractice, contact a Lake County medical malpractice attorney from Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. Our team will investigate your case and help you determine if medical malpractice has occurred. If you were the victim of ER malpractice, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call our office today at 847-662-3303 and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

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IL birth injury lawyerA baby’s birth should be one of the happiest days of a parent’s life. Unfortunately, some parents’ happiness is mired by anxiety and fear due to a serious birth injury. Brachial plexus injuries are fairly common in newborns, but the consequences of these injuries can have lifelong ramifications. If a doctor’s failure to meet the medical standard of care results in a baby suffering a brachial plexus injury, the baby’s parents may be entitled to compensation for the damages they have suffered.

How Does a Brachial Plexus Injury Occur?

Brachial plexus nerves connect the spinal cord to the shoulders, arms, and hands. When these nerves are damaged, the body’s ability to control arm and hand movement is decreased. Brachial plexus injuries are often caused when a condition called shoulder dystocia occurs during delivery. Shoulder dystocia refers to a situation in which the baby’s shoulders become stuck in the birth canal. This can put intense pressure on the baby’s neck and shoulder area. Brachial plexus nerves can become stretched or even torn. The use of tools such as vacuum extractors and forceps may increase the risk of a brachial plexus injury.

The medical consequences of a brachial plexus injury vary depending on the severity of damage to the nerves and the location of the injury. Nerves that are slightly stretched may only result in short-term symptoms. If the nerves are severed or torn away from the spinal cord, however, the baby may experience paralysis that lasts for the rest of his or her life. Damage to the brachial plexus nerves may also result in a condition called Erb’s Palsy. A baby suffering from Erb’s Palsy may experience weakness, loss of feeling, and partial or total paralysis of the shoulders or arms. He or she has one arm that is noticeably smaller than the other during childhood. Physical therapy is the most common treatment for brachial plexus injuries. However, some sufferers may require surgery such as a nerve transfer or nerve graft to correct the mitigate the damage.

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Waukegan wrongful death lawyerDoctors and other healthcare staff have both an ethical and legal obligation to provide competent care to patients. Doctors cannot always prevent the deaths of their patients. However, there are some situations in which a medical error or negligent act results in an avoidable patient death. If a patient’s death is caused by medical malpractice, a surviving family member may choose to bring a wrongful death claim against the doctor or the medical facility. A wrongful death claim may help the family recover compensation for their loss while holding the responsible party accountable for the tragic loss.

Defining Medical Negligence

A wrongful death occurs when the wrongful, reckless, or negligent action or inaction of a party results in the death of an individual. The terms medical malpractice and medical negligence are sometimes used synonymously, however, medical negligence is only one component of a medical malpractice claim. Four elements must be present to establish that medical negligence has occurred:

  • Duty: If a patient had established a confidential doctor-patient relationship with the medical professional, the professional has a duty to provide capable medical care.

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Waukegan medical malpractice attorneysThroughout the last several decades, there have been remarkable advancements in the field of cancer treatment. Increasingly, doctors and other medical professionals are able to detect cancer early enough for treatments to be successful. The sooner a person can receive a cancer diagnosis, the sooner they can begin an aggressive treatment plan that slows the spread of the disease and, ideally, eradicates cancerous cells. 

Doctors and other healthcare staff have an ethical and legal obligation to provide reasonably competent medical care. This includes providing patients with timely and accurate diagnoses. In some cases, a doctor’s failure to diagnose cancer can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Medical Mistakes That Can Lead to Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer

When a doctor, radiologist, oncologist, or other medical professional fails to diagnose cancer in a reasonably timely manner, the patient may miss the opportunity to start cancer treatment before the disease has significantly progressed. Sadly, there are some situations in which failure to diagnose cancer can even lead to a patient’s death. There are many different mistakes that can lead to a doctor failing to diagnose cancer including:

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