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November 2014 Archives

Holiday Safety Tips

pGoldenGiftsWrapped_10565133_s-300x270.jpg With Thanksgiving and the holiday season right around the corner, the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish want to provide safety tips to help you and your family stay safe this holiday season.

Are Medical Errors the Same as Medical Malpractice?

6310985_s-300x200 (1).jpg Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo[/caption] Preventable medical error is the third leading cause of death, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), just behind heart disease and cancer. In 2010, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services said medical negligence contributed to the deaths of 180,000 patients in Medicare alone in a given year. But the latest numbers indicate between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die each year due to some type of preventable harm. A preventable medical error does not always amount to medical malpractice (although in many cases it does). Rather, in to pursue a medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff must show the following: (1) the defendant had a duty to provide the appropriate medical care; (2) the defendant failed to provide the appropriate medical care; and (3) the defendant's deviation from the appropriate standard of care caused the plaintiff to sustain injuries or damages.

Should I Get a Second Opinion?

pPelvicXray_Dollarphotoclub_60783390-300x300.jpg Misdiagnosis is the most common type of medical error, with an estimated 10 to 20 percent of medical malpractice cases involving a diagnostic error. Given the high rate of error in diagnoses, it is incredibly important for patients to get a second opinion when facing a serious medical condition. Since a proper diagnosis is critical to proper treatment, a missed, delayed, or inaccurate diagnosis can significantly exacerbate a medical condition. Patients are sometimes reluctant to get a second opinion due to a lack of time or loyalty to their primary physician. Nonetheless, a second opinion is a critical part of adequate health care, especially when dealing with a serious illness like cancer or unexplained medical symptoms. According to the New York Times, second opinions can lead to significant changes in a patient's diagnosis or in recommendations for treating a disease, particularly with respect to radiology images and biopsy pathology slides. As the article points out, some cancers, such as lymphomas and rare cancers of the thyroid and salivary glands, are difficult to diagnose correctly and have a high rate of inconclusivity or false results. According to Thomas Feeley, vice president of medical operations at MD Anderson, as many as 25% of patients who arrive at the center with diagnoses for certain cancers may receive a different diagnosis. What's more, in approximately 3% of cases, the second opinion results in an altered treatment plan as a result of the correct diagnosis. Not only can a second opinion alert patients to a potential misdiagnosis, but it can also provide reassurance and supplemental information if the initial diagnosis is confirmed. "When you get cancer, the first thing you may want to do is jump to get treatment with the first person you talk to," Dr. Feeley has said. "But taking the time to get a second opinion about the diagnosis you have and a careful evaluation of what treatments there are can be lifesaving."

What You Need to Know about Pedestrian Accidents

pWomenCellPhonePreCrash_Dollarphotoclub_30342243-300x199.jpg Large, metropolitan areas like Chicago are home to a number of pedestrians. On any given day, Chicago's busy roadways are filled with cars, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. Unfortunately, pedestrians can also be the victim of traffic accidents. In fact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States, and another 76,000 pedestrians were injured - which averages to one crash-related pedestrian death every 2 hours and a pedestrian injury every 7 minutes.Perhaps most startling is the fact that pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash on each trip.

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