Chicago Medical Malpractice - The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Medical Malpractice in Chicago

Most doctors aren’t “Dr. House.” And, some doctors, rather than curing, end up causing their patients even more harm. Medical Malpractice is a type of personal injury case that arises when a patient has been injured because of the improper action (or inaction) of a healthcare professional or medical facility.

Negligent actions resulting in medical malpractice cases can include an error in diagnosis, treatment, or illness management. If you have suffered injuries due to the improper actions of a medical provider or health care facility, a Chicago Personal Injury lawyer can help you understand if you have a personal injury case.


Recently in Medical Malpractice Category

Sonia Eli died of an overdose of prescription medications while being cared for by the Rainbow Beach Nursing Center. According to the Chicago Tribune, two doctors each saw Eli and filled out their own prescriptions for treatment. The combination was lethal.

While some might call that an unfortunate accident, others would label it malpractice and negligence. The family chose the latter when it sued the nursing home earlier this week. While accidents do happen in medicine, and not all will result in liability, recovery for medical malpractice requires proof that the care provided fell below the standard of the what the ordinary treating physician would have done.

Ninety-two year old Catherine McCann suffers from severe Alzheimer’s. Because she is unable to speak or care for herself, her family spends $10,000 per month for skilled nursing care. The provider of that care, Lutheran Home for the Aged in Arlington Heights, Illinois, was supposed to be providing round-the-clock care, including putting medicated drops in her ear for a recently developed wax buildup.

Instead, after McCann began pulling at her ear, one of her caretakers noticed something truly disturbing: maggots crawling in her ear, reports CBS Chicago. Her family met her at the hospital and watched as doctors pulled fifty-seven maggots out of her ear canal. An expert analyzed the maggots and determined that they had been present for two to three days.

Sheena Lane and Pink Dorsey have been to hell and back in the truest sense of the expression. They are the parents of 8-year-old Jaylen, who was declared dead by the Mercy Hospital and Medical Center staff after his heart completely stopped before being brought into the hospital.

Hours later, he was alive again, without any additional help from the hospital staff, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Imagine being told that treatment for your medical condition means that you will no longer be able to have children. There is a glimmer of hope, however. Frozen sperm harvested before the treatment could allow you to someday have children via the miracle of cryogenic preservation at the hospital’s sperm bank and in vitro fertilization.

And then the freezer broke at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, reports the Chicago Tribune. On April 21-22, one of the cryogenic storage tanks went offline. In addition, the alarm failed to alert technicians. The end result was catastrophic for the plaintiff in this case, known in court filings as John Anonymous, as his stored semen is no longer viable.

A patient presents with on-and-off fevers, pain in her right leg, and being unable to put weight on that leg. Hours later, blood work indicates an elevated white blood cell count and other tests indicate swelling in the leg. As her doctor, what do you order?

Yep, it's an unfair question to most of us. Based on extensive research undertaken via "Grey's Anatomy," "E.R.," and "House," an elevated white blood cell count indicates some sort of infection. Yet the hospital didn't administer antibiotics until 24 hours after Ashanti Norals was presented to the emergency room, reports Courthouse News Service.

Because of the untreated sepsis, which was allegedly indicated by the lab results and her vital signs, Norals had all four limbs amputated.

It all started with a small benign cyst in her right eyelid. At some point during the removal procedure, Dr. Donna Johnson allegedly penetrated Evelyn Walton's eye with a needle, reports Courthouse News Service. The end result was blindness in her right eye.

The cause of the penetrating needle is still disputed, though it seems to involve a falling stretcher. Midway through Walton's surgery, part of the stretcher she was on collapsed. Whether the stretcher collapsed because of a defect or mishandling by hospital staff is still in dispute.

Tonya Reaves, 24, went to Planned Parenthood in the Loop on the morning of July 20 for a dilation and evacuation abortion. By the end of the night, she was dead. The events during the day, though still disputed, are beginning to paint a picture of possible negligence.

Reaves had the initial abortion procedure at 11 a.m., according to WBBM Newsradio. Five and a half hours later, she was rushed to the hospital because of continued bleeding. An ultrasound and second abortion was performed at 5:30 p.m. The bleeding and pain continued. A perforation, or small hole, was found in her uterus. She was taken in for surgery at 10:12 p.m., when an uncontrollable bleed was discovered. She was pronounced dead at 11:20 p.m.

Doctors are human. Though they swear to do no harm, sometimes they make mistakes. While it is true that they cannot save everyone, their mistakes can potentially cross the line into negligence. Perhaps they were attempting a procedure that they weren't qualified to perform. Or perhaps they were just hung over from sweet-tea vodka and lemonade energy drinks (it's not an Arnold Palmer, it's a John Daly on speed).

Whatever the cause, when a doctor's conduct slips below the high standards of the profession, we call that medical malpractice. This field of law focuses on those times when a doctor violates his duty to provide reasonable care to his patient. When such mistakes happen, the patient often ends up severely injured or even dead.

Therein lies the problem with the Internet. One mis-click, one forgetful staffer, or one failed redundancy check, and the confidential identify behind your “before and after” plastic surgery shots will have your name, your cosmetic surgery procedure, and revealing photos for anyone who Googles you.

According to the Post-Dispatch, at least one St. Louis plastic surgeon — and possibly many more across the country — have been posting images of women, before and after cosmetic surgery, with the patients’ identities still attached to the photos.

Prisoners can be a real pain in the butt. They often have far too much free time.

One of the many things they do to pass the time is file lawsuits. We're not talking criminal appeals here. They do that too, of course, but they also file lawsuits about everything from the soy content of food to their untreated golf ball sized hemorrhoids.

Yes, golf ball sized.