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Cook County Wrongful Death Law Blog

Who determines the rating of a nursing home?

Nursing homes in Illinois are certified and regulated by several agencies, both federal and state. While each agency is separate from the next, their jurisdictions do sometimes overlap.

It is the duty of the Illinois Department of Public Health to ensure a nursing home is in full compliance with state regulations. In addition, it works with Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal program, to ensure facilities meet rules and regulations for the acceptance of Medicare and Medicaid payments. Every year there are approximately 1,300 nursing home surveys performed by any of 200 inspectors employed by the State of Illinois. The agency also fields and investigates approximately 6,000 complaints per year. The Department of Public Health issues a quarterly report of nursing home violations.

Glenview man charged in death of construction worker

According to recent reports, a 26-year-old Glenview man is facing charges stemming from an accident that involved the death of a 59-year-old construction worker on a Tri-State Tollway. The charges include possession of a controlled substance, driving under the influence of drugs involving death, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, improper lane usage and aggravated speeding. It was also discovered that the man had an outstanding warrant for parole violation in Berrien County, Michigan.

The reports indicate that on November 30 a driver entered a 45 mile per hour construction zone at 10:17 p.m., where workers were repairing pavement. The driver failed to reduce his speed, even though decreased speed limit signs were posted and the area was already congested, when he struck the worker, who was later pronounced deceased at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. In addition, the driver also struck a concrete cutting saw and a parked vehicle that had a trailer attached. That vehicle was parked and unoccupied at the time. The driver also suffered minor injuries, which were treated at the same hospital, and he was subsequently released.

Radiology errors can have disastrous results

Most medical patients never even know the name of the radiologist who interprets the results of x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs or other imaging. They rely on a doctor to pass along the results to them, and determine the best treatment or surgical plan. Most often, it never crosses a patient's mind that a doctor may have been provided with incorrect information. However, what happens if the radiologist gets it wrong?

Consider this hypothetical scenario. A patient goes to see a doctor complaining of back pain. The doctor orders a magnetic resonance imaging scan of the spine, also known as an MRI. Upon completion of the test, the case is assigned to a radiologist whose job it is to interpret the results and provide the doctor with a report and recommendation for treatment. In this case, the radiologist reviews the images and determines that the patient has severely deteriorated lumbar discs at the L4-L5 level, and will likely need a surgical fusion. Part of the duties of the radiologist are to digitally mark the area on the image where a problem exists. These markings are especially important in cases where surgery is needed. After reviewing these results with the patient, the doctor then refers the patient to a surgeon and the back surgery is scheduled.

OSHA citations totals many thousands this year

Just like employees are expected to follow rules of their employer, employers are expected to follow rules set by the federal and state government. When it comes to worker safety, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets rules for employers to follow. This is a federally funded government body. Illinois also has requirements of employers.

Because OSHA is federally funded, the agency's findings and reports are a matter of public record. On OSHA's website, it shows the amount of fines that employers have faced so far in 2018. The fines total hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some are in connection with construction negligence and worker-related deaths and injuries.

Video appears to show nursing home abuse, lawsuit filed

With advances in technology, the public has seen videos of disturbing acts, rather than just hearing about them. Since videos recording devices are cheap and easy to place and access, many are recording what is happening to them and around them. One video taken in a South Holland nursing home appears to show nursing home staff abusing an elderly patient. The video has sparked a personal injury lawsuit against the nursing home and several of the employees seen in the video.

The victim and the victim's family have decided to remain anonymous, after the video was released showing the 76-year-old stroke and dementia patient being berated by the group of workers. The video is graphic and shows the six nursing home staff surrounding the man and ordering him to pull his pants down in what is alleged as nursing home abuse. The daughter of the victim claims that her father endured taunting, mockery and abuse. The family is seeking damages in Cook County court.

How do you know if your family has a valid birth injury claim?

It can be devastating for your Illinois family to learn that your child suffered an injury during the birth process. The fact that your child could have injuries that will affect the rest of his or her life can mar what was a joyous occasion. In the days and weeks after, it may be beneficial for you to learn more about the options that could be available to you as a parent.

Families walking through the aftermath of a birth injury may feel confused and overwhelmed by their circumstances. With guidance, however, it may be possible to hold liable parties accountable and secure the help your child needs. Your family does not have to deal with these unfortunate circumstances alone.

Anesthesia errors happen and injury can result

If you or a loved one is about to have a medical procedure or surgery, there are only a few ways of being rendered unconscious for the procedure. While the doctor may explain the details of the surgery or procedure, they may not go in depth about the anesthesia process. The truth is, anesthesia carries risks for medical injury too, as does the medical procedure one is being put under for. Anesthesia error, rather than actual surgical error, could happen to a patient and cause unnecessary injury.

There are doctors and medical professionals trained specifically in the administration of anesthesia. The process of providing anesthesia involves rendering a person unconscious. However, there are many intricacies that the medical professional must adhere to during this process, otherwise it could quickly result in anesthesia error. Error, in medical respects, can quickly result in patient injury.

What are the legal rights of Illinois nursing home residents?

There are positives and negatives to getting older. One downside for many elderly people and their loved ones is that failing health can make it difficult to care for themselves or complete everyday activities. That's where nursing home come in. Many families find them to be the perfect place for their loved ones to live out their later years.

However, while nursing homes can have a lot of benefits, it's not unheard of for nursing homes to have a dark side. This dark side could mean instances of nursing home neglect or abuse. Some nursing home residents even die prematurely due to their time spent in a negligent nursing home. So, what rights do nursing home residents have?

County commissioners approve $4 million malpractice settlement

When you or a loved one needs medical care, you want to know that you can be cared for in a way that will be beneficial or at least stabilizing to your own or a loved one's health. Doctors and hospital staff often do the very best they can and can perform what some would characterize as miracles.' Other people do not have this experience and instead have a negative experience with their healthcare. These experience can result in a worsened medical condition or in a worst case scenario, death.

This was sadly the situation for one family who's loved one was cared for in a Cook county medical facility and later suffered a brain injury due to the care received. While at Stroger Hospital in 2013, the woman received a procedure bedside called a pericardiocentesis. She suffered a brain injury due to the way in which the procedure was administered, according to the complaint. This medical procedure that removes fluid from the sac around the heart is typically done in a cardiac catherization laboratory, not bedside, as hers was administered.

What is 'informed consent' in medical procedures?

Part of receiving medical care is the dialog between doctor and patient. In some cases, other health care professionals, like nurses or similar staff, may step in to answer questions and make recommendations. When a person is ill or has an injury, there is often a few options in terms or care, or there may only be one option. Before a person goes through with their treatment decision, the appropriate healthcare provider must notify the patient of the potential benefits and potential risks of the treatment or procedure.

This is what's known as informed consent. Informed consent is made up on two parts, the first being that the information about the treatment or procedure was communicated to the patient. Secondly, the patient must give consent that they understand the procedure and are willing to move forward. Failure of the healthcare provider to give either the information or to receive the consent could mean that informed consent was not successfully achieved.

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