The last thing a person thinks about when visiting with a doctor is the chance that they will walk out in worse shape than when they entered. After all, a doctor's job is to help a patient heal. Yet, each year, thousands of Americans, including many from Chicago, Illinois, and the surrounding area, become victims of medical malpractice.
We all rely on the expertise of medical professionals to determine what is wrong when we are injured or sick and to prescribe us an appropriate treatment. Patients in Illinois trust the recommendation of our doctors and surgeons because they have gone through specialized education and training. However, even with their training and years of experience, medical professionals are still humans and subject to human errors. While they have the best interests of their patient in mind, this does not mean that an error or a mistake couldn't slip in.
The prospect of having to undergo an operation, even a minor one, is frightening. Illinois residents may fear that something will go wrong during the procedure or during the recovery period that could lead to complications or even death. Unfortunately, these fears are not unfounded. Sometimes, physician negligence leads to surgical errors that have devastating consequences. Even more terrifying is many of these medical mistakes can be prevented.
Expecting parents in Cook County may take every precaution possible during their pregnancy in order to ensure their baby will be healthy. Mothers often eat the right foods, exercise, take prenatal vitamins, and go to all prenatal appointments. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, sometimes these women's children suffer from a fatal birth defect or birth injury.
When a person in Illinois is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against a physician or medical center, the issue of "doctor-patient privilege" comes up. Doctor-patient privilege allows a person to have their medical information kept private unless they agree to share it. This means that a doctor cannot share medical information about a patient to others, unless that privilege has been waived by the patient.
While a person in Cook County generally knows what to expect at a routine doctor's appointment, when it comes to more complex procedures, a person can be left in the dark. However, understanding what will be done and why is important. After all, certain procedures can leave a person in a worsened condition if they are not performed with due care. Patients deserve to know what to expect -- what the medical procedure is, why it is needed and what risks, complications and alternatives are involved.
When a person experiences kidney failure, they may need to be put on dialysis. Dialysis purifies a person's blood, a role normally performed by one's kidneys. However, recent media reports highlight some of the potential dangers at dialysis centers.
Misdiagnosis errors can have serious consequences for victims. A correct and timely diagnosis can have a significant impact on the quality of treatment and care the patient receives. When a medical condition is not correctly diagnosed or there is a delayed diagnosis, it can be the difference between suitable care and treatment and devastating complications that can result in death in some circumstances.
When a patient in Illinois or anywhere else throughout the U.S. receives a cancer diagnosis, the priority is to seek the proper and most effective treatment. But what happens if the treatment is unclear or the patient is not capable of understanding how best to proceed? Those who are negatively affected by a doctor's failure to provide adequate advice could end up as a victim of medical negligence. If this causes damage, that could be the foundation for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Illinois residents who are having a health problem have enough to think about without wondering whether the diagnosis and treatment -- or lack thereof - that they received was accurate. Unfortunately, there are far too many instances in which there is a missed diagnosis that leads to a patient growing worse than he or she otherwise would have been had the diagnosis and treatment plan been accurate. In some instances, there will be a death and the family will need to come to grips with the loss of a loved one. Those who are affected by this form of mistake have the right to consider a medical malpractice lawsuit to be compensated.