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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

Are Nursing Homes And Hospitals Harboring Deadly Superbugs?

Thumbnail image for pDocChecksHeart_Dollarphotoclub_29692239.jpgAn outbreak of a rare infectious pathogen at a New Mexico nursing home has focused attention on a serious - and potentially deadly problem. In January 2014, a resident at Casa Maria Nursing Home in Roswell became infected with Clostridium difficile, a highly contagious pathogen that causes fever, abdominal cramps and violent diarrhea. The outbreak spread, infecting more residents of the facility. Despite the state's requirement that such outbreaks be reported within 24 hours, Casa Maria management waited until March to inform New Mexico health authorities. By the time the outbreak was over in June, 15 residents had been infected, and eight were dead.

An investigative report by Reuters highlights the scope of the problem. One of its disturbing findings is the fact that many state health authorities are prohibited by law from disclosing information on the location and extent of superbug outbreaks.

Holiday Fire Safety

pSpeedingFireTruck_Dollarphotoclub_9341043.jpgThe air is crisp and Jack Frost has certainly been nipping at the noses of Midwesterners in the past few weeks. You, like many in Chicago, are preparing to host family and friends with feasts, libations and festive décor abound. If your family celebrates Christmas, you may be anticipating a visit from a jolly 'ol fat man in a red suit.

Unfortunately, Christmas trees caused approximately 210 homes to catch fire between 2010 and 2014. The fires caused 6 deaths, 16 injuries and over $16 million in property damage per year. Of these fires, an electrical or lighting device of some kind was involved in 35% of Christmas tree fires. Two out of five tree fires began in the living room family room or den. However you choose to celebrate, you will want everyone to enjoy the celebrations safely. 

New Standards Established For Healthcare Representatives In Operating Rooms

pORwithSurgeons_Dollarphotoclub_21714506.jpgHow many people know that medical device salespeople often participate in surgical procedures?

Surgeons, surgical nurses, and medical device manufacturers certainly do, but the general public does not. Allowing healthcare industry representatives (HCIR) to provide advice in operating rooms and guide surgeons' actions has been an accepted practice in hospitals across the country for many years. It is especially common in spinal surgeries and those involving complete joint replacements.

Sleep Deprivation Among Medical Residents Increases Medical Errors

pCryingWoman_Dollarphotoclub_59764098.jpgAccording to medical studies, long work shifts and sleep deprivation are putting both medical students and their patients at risk for injuries. Studies show that sleep deprivation impairs medical residents' performance and exposes patients to increased medical errors. In Illinois, patients who suffer from medical errors often file medical malpractice lawsuits with a Chicago medical malpractice attorney.

Hospital-Associated Infections In Illinois

surgery-708507_1280-Pixabay-300x201.jpgImagine entering a hospital for a minor surgical procedure and contracting a potentially fatal infection. With the increase in the antibiotic resistant microbes and the prevalence of hospital-associated infections (HAI), that's exactly the risk many Illinois hospital patients face. In the most comprehensive study of the problem, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported that almost 722,000 hospitalized patients contracted a hospital-associated infection during the year. Of these, 75,000 patients died as a result of the infection. For Illinois residents, there is mixed news. On average, Illinois hospitals have lower standardized infection ratios* (SIR) than the national baseline. However, some hospitals have higher SIR than the national baseline. Between 2013 and 2014 (the latest period for which CDC has collected and published data), SIR for the six major types of HAI in Illinois hospitals changed as follows:

8 Holiday road-trip safety tips

pSnowyCountryRoad_9948437_s.jpgThe end of Halloween marks the beginning of the holiday season and many of you have already started putting your holiday travel plans together. This time of year can be stressful and take a lot of preparation. As you start to gear up for that holiday road-trip, keep these helpful tips in mind for a smooth ride and safe arrival at your destination.

Anesthesia Causes Serious Injuries Due to Human Error

shutterstock_223763143.jpgAnesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists have a complicated job and unfortunately, even small mistakes can lead to significant patient injuries. Administering the correct type and amount of medication is critical to keeping patients safe.

Anesthesia and Human Error

Anesthesia is administered to patients approximately 40 million times each year. Though most of the time this happens without incident, when an error occurs, it can be life threatening. Mistakes with anesthesia can be just as dangerous to patients as surgical errors. Brain damage and even death have been linked to incorrectly administered anesthesia.

Doctor Admits to Lying to Protect Colleague from Medical Malpractice Claims

pStethascopeAndGavel_6310985_s.jpgA surgeon who was called to the stand to vouch for a partner's expertise has admitted to lying to protect him. Though there is no way to tell if his testimony affected the final outcome of the trial, the doctor says that he is haunted by his actions. Other medical professionals are now coming forward with stories of their own.

The Consequences of Obstetrical Negligence

Baby Hospital Dollarphotoclub_59896937.jpgObstetric negligence can result in infection, loss of fertility, stillbirth, cerebral palsy, and death of the baby and/or the mother. Hospitals, doctors and nurses who treat pregnant women are required to provide a duty of care that will protect the mother and the baby during pregnancy and childbirth.

What is Obstetrical Negligence?

The word "obstetrics" refers to the type of medical care that deals with pregnancy and childbirth. This includes the time period throughout a woman's pregnancy, as well as the processes leading up to and including childbirth. Obstetric negligence can result in various types of medical malpractice claims. A medical malpractice lawyer may file claims against any or all parties including hospital staff, surgeons, physicians and nurses who treat a pregnant patient during pregnancy and childbirth.

When Doctors Lie: Uncovering Medical Negligence

pSurgeonsInHallway_13665020_s.jpgSeveral studies have shown that more than 50 percent of doctors will fail to disclose or lie about medical errors that they or their colleagues have made. In order to uncover evidence of medical negligence, malpractice lawyers often retain medical experts who can review the medical records and notes in order to uncover errors even when the medical staff is attempting to hide them.

Failing to Disclose Medical Errors

A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that patients unanimously wanted to know when harmful errors had been made. The patients all expressed that they understood that mistakes are sometimes made, but they would want to know if the error resulted in further injuries that they are suffering. More than half of the doctors in the study reported that they would not disclose certain medical errors to their patients if they believed that the patients would not realize they were harmed by the doctors' mistakes. The doctors said that they tend to put a positive spin on errors when they do disclose them, and the reason that they might not disclose mistakes is because of fear of litigation.