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Chicago medical malpractice attorneyBy Lindsay Proskey 

Tort reform legislation requiring Kentuckians to submit medical malpractice claims to a review panel of three physicians before they can file lawsuits was recently struck down by the Kentucky Supreme Court for violating the state constitution. 

Tort reform efforts aim to reduce the ability of victims to bring tort litigation or to reduce damages they can receive. Kentucky state Sen. Ralph Alvarado (a practicing physician and lawmaker) has sponsored several pieces of legislation, including the Medical Review Panel Act, to deter plaintiffs from suing healthcare professionals.  

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medical errors, Illinois personal iniury attorneyThere is an insidious, silent killer in the United States – one that patients are often oblivious to, doctors and hospitals refuse to talk about, and is now considered the third leading cause of death in the U.S., placing it just below cancer and heart disease. In total, it claims anywhere from 250,000 to 400,000 deaths per year, yet there is no system in place to effectively track or prevent these deaths. Even more disturbing is that this killer – otherwise known as medical malpractice  – occurs at the hands of those who are supposed to heal.

What You Do Not Know Can Hurt You

Sick people go to hospitals to get better, but hundreds of thousands will never leave. Victims of poorly coordinated care, preventable infections, system failures, falls, or any number of other, preventable causes, these patients will die a wrongful death at the hands of the doctor, nurse, or surgeon treating them. No one – not even their family – may fully understand the death because those same system failures that allowed the death are often used to cover up its true cause and nature. And therein lies one of the major contributing factors to this American epidemic.

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physician removing wrong body part, Chicago medical malpractice lawyerNow considered the third leading cause of death in the United States, preventable medical mistakes are trumped only by cancer and heart disease. Mistakes that cause harm, serious injury, or unnecessary stress are also extremely prevalent. Yet regulations, lawmakers, and even the doctors and hospitals themselves fail to take action or accountability. One woman, who allegedly had the wrong rib removed during a surgery at Yale hospital, had just this sort of an experience when the doctor reportedly tried to cover up his mistake instead of apologizing.

About the Surgery

According to court documents filed in Connecticut Superior Court, the 60-year-old woman had needed surgery to remove her eighth rib because of a precancerous lesion. This rib had reportedly been marked with metal coils and dye to ensure a successful surgery. Unfortunately, the woman’s seventh rib was removed instead and, instead of performing an X-ray immediately after surgery or contacting the patient to apologize when the mistake was discovered, the woman allegedly had to visit the hospital herself when she continued to experience pain.

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pharmacist negligence, Chicago medical malpractice attorneysWhile a pharmacist’s ability to cause harm is not limited to the medications they do or do not dispense, error can have severe consequences for patients. Take, for example, that a pharmacist dispenses the wrong drug; their patient could be at risk for any number of adverse events, including an allergic reaction, a bad drug interaction (when one drug adversely interacts with another drug), health complications, and even death. Common sense says the pharmacists should be held liable in this situation. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Common Mistakes Made by Pharmacists

Based on an analysis conducted by the Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO), wrong drug dispersion and wrong dose calculation accounted for the majority of the mistakes made by pharmacists over the course of 10 years – 75.3 percent combined (43.8 percent and 31.5 percent, respectively).

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medical error, Chicago personal injury lawyer

Most patients check into a hospital expecting to get better. Sadly, this is not always the case; doctors, surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare professionals sometimes make critical mistakes that end up doing more harm than good. Even more disturbing is that, according to recent data, the prevalence of these medical errors has increased over the years at an alarming rate.

Medical Mistakes: Then and Now

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