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Chicago medical malpractice lawyer lack of empathyBy Tim Tomasik

Everyone expects to receive quality medical care when they see a doctor or go to the hospital, but one aspect of medical treatment that is often overlooked is the manner in which doctors interact with patients. In many cases, overworked doctors may feel that they do not have the time to offer a kind word to their patients and give them the extra emotional attention that lets them know that their needs are being met. However, a recent study has demonstrated the importance of compassion, and a doctor who neglects to provide their patients with the proper care and attention may actually be causing them harm.

Study Finds That Compassion From Doctors Is Important For Patient Health

Some doctors have been known to experience “burnout” after many years of providing medical care to patients. Two doctors at Cooper University Health Care recently conducted a study to address this and find a way to help improve both doctor well-being and patient care. In their new book Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence that Caring Makes a Difference, they describe how they found that when doctors and other health care providers take the time to connect with their patients emotionally, it not only improved patient outcomes, but it also decreased overall medical costs. In fact, the study even found that doctors who took extra time to demonstrate compassion felt that they had more overall time to care for patients.

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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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cancer misdiagnosis, Illinois medical malpractice lawyersOne in 20 adults in the United States (approximately 12 million people) are misdiagnosed by their doctors each and every year. At least half of those people could suffer from serious repercussions. For instance, a Journal of American Medical Association published study found that around 20 percent of all medical errors each year involve delayed cancer diagnosis.

Cancers Commonly Misdiagnosed

According to the previously mentioned study, the most common delayed cancer diagnoses are lung, breast, and colorectal cancers; in fact, they make up about 10 percent of all medical errors. The remaining 10 percent are delayed diagnoses of all other cancers. Examples include ovarian cancers, which a NHS survey found an average diagnostic delay of about 90.3 days; non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (delayed by an average of 102.8 days); and prostate cancer (average delay of 148.5 days).

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