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Chicago resident becomes victim of meningitis outbreak

When people get sick, they turn to their doctors and other health care professionals to make them better. People expect that their doctor will know how to treat them. They do not envision that their doctor will make them sicker. Unfortunately, doctors are not always helpful, and their mistakes can have devastating, even fatal consequences.

Medical malpractice law exists to help compensate victims and their families for medical professional negligence. The law seeks to provide compensation to those who have been injured when mistakes are made.

A recent medical mistake has made headlines here in Chicago and around the country. Fifteen people have died and 200 others made sick after receiving a steroid injection infected with meningitis. Now, the Illinois Department of Public Health is investigating what it believes to be the first victim of this outbreak in Chicago.

Across the nation, people have become sick after being injected with steroids produced at a pharmaceutical company in Massachusetts. The company has since ceased production and has surrendered their medical license.

When a person falls victim to medical malpractice, they often look for compensation for their injuries. Errors caused by negligence can be expensive for the victim and their family. To be successful in a medical malpractice claim the plaintiff must show that an act or inaction by a medical professional was not in line with the accepted standard of care. A medical malpractice suit is not limited only to the doctor, but can involve nurses, the hospital or even a pharmacy.

People want their health care providers to make them feel better, but in the rare cases where the treatment only exacerbates the suffering, the victim can turn to medical malpractice law to be compensated for damages incurred.

Source: Chicago Sun Times, "Chicagoan likely 1st Illinois case in meningitis outbreak," Hunter Clauss, Oct. 13, 2012

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