Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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A study by the American Society of Anesthesiologists in April of 2009 revealed that there were 2,211 anesthesia related deaths between 1999 and 2005. Of these deaths, 47% were the result of general anesthesia overdose – a preventable medical error. The problem for anesthesiologists is finding a balance between an amount of anesthesia sufficient to ensure that the patient does not wake up while simultaneously protecting against anesthesia awareness. Anesthesia awareness occurs when a patient wakes up during surgery. These patients can experience pain and feel the surgery while still being unable to move or talk. Studies have indicated that about 1.5 in 1000 patients experience anesthesia awareness. In order to compensate for this, anesthesiologists routinely overmedicate by twenty to thirty percent. Too much anesthesia can result in death, temporary mental impairment, or permanent brain damage whereas too little can lead to anesthesia awareness.

Anesthesiologists have been traditionally trained to monitor patients’ vital signs during surgery such as oxygen levels in the blood, breathing, circulation, blood pressure and temperature in order to assess the effectiveness of anesthesia. However Dr. Barry Friedburg argues that patient safety would be increased if anesthesiologists monitored patients’ brain activity instead of these traditional vital signs. Brain activity can be monitored with a $25 dollar sensor that sits on top of a patient’s forehead which can measure the individual anesthetic responses of each patient. Freidburg argues that brain monitoring could prevent the aforementioned anesthesia overdoses and should be adopted as the standard of care for general anesthesiology moving forward as opposed to the current model of overmedication compensation. Brain monitors are currently available in only half the operating rooms in the United States but many patients will not be monitored at those hospitals in less they specifically ask.

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The death of Chicago Sun Times Chairman James Tyree was ruled an accident last week on the heels of an investigation that revealed he died from an air embolism. The tragedy has prompted Medicare to release a statement regarding the payment of treatment considered medical error. Tyree was being treated for cancer and pneumonia when he died from an intravascular air embolism last Wednesday. He was pronounced dead at the University of Chicago Medical Center at 4:24 p.m.

An air embolism occurs when a vein or artery is obstructed by an air bubble. These bubbles are often benign but in certain situations can shut off blood flow and cause death. Death from intravascular air embolism is considered a ‘never event’ medical error. Never events are widely considered preventable situations that should never occur according to the National Quality Forum, a medical standards organization. One national expert on patient safety has admitted that death by an embolism of this type is a rare event and that there are a host of established techniques in place to prevent this type of death from occurring. In response to the tragedy, Medicare has said that it will no longer pay for treatment of medical errors that are deemed ‘never events’. Medicare’s position will have nationwide effects on victims of medical malpractice throughout the nation.

If you or someone you know has been denied Medicare coverage due to a never event denial, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to review your case and protect your rights.

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The Illinois Supreme Court determined that a 2005 Illinois law limiting damages awards in medical malpractice cases violates the state constitution earlier this month. The law limited non-economic damages such as pain suffering and not actual damages such as present and future medical bills. The case before the high Court, LeBron v. Gottleib Memorial Hospital, involved a young girl that suffered a severe brain injury as she was delivered. The Court determined that a limit on the amount that a jury could award in such a case violated the separation of powers clause of the Illinois Constitution. The Court found that the caps violated a jury’s right to determine damages.

Such non-economic caps are legislatively created to specifically target medical malpractice claims. Interestingly, there are no caps on non-economic damages in other catastrophic injury cases such as drunk-driving car accidents. However, many do not realize that medical malpractice is the leading cause of injury in the United States accounting for about 180,000 injuries per year or three times the number of those injured by drunk drivers. The Illinois Supreme Court’s decision is a victory for those injured by hospital or doctor negligence.

The Klest Law Firm has thirty years of experience handling medical malpractice claims. To speak with an attorney regarding the Supreme Court decision or any other matter related to Illinois medical malpractice, please call our firm today.

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CHICAGO DAILY LAW BULLETIN Friday, September 14, 2001

In Circuit Court Cook County Circuit Judge Daniel M. Locallo, on Monday approved a $3,215,000 settlement in the case of a woman who claimed her kidneys failed because of medical malpractice.

C.H. had been prescribed lithium, which is potentially harmful to the kidneys. Her kidneys eventually failed, and she is currently on dialysis awaiting a transplant. The plaintiff’s attorney, Joseph G. Klest of Schaumburg, claimed the prescribing doctor, John Hanni, failed to properly monitor C.H’s kidney function. He also said her internist, Dr. Charles Lynn, did not report results of blood tests that could have indicated there was a problem with her kidneys.

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Errors in anesthesia administration can lead to devastating consequences for a surgical patient that is the victim of anesthesia malpractice. Anesthesia is administered to a patient to block sensation so that he or she cannot feel any pain. When an anesthesia error occurs, the pain and injuries suffered by a patient can be catastrophic.

Chicago medical malpractice Attorney Joseph Klest has successfully dealt with anesthesia malpractice cases for many clients injured in the Chicago area and in cities throughout Illinois for over 25 years. He can help you recover medical malpractice compensation for your suffering and injuries caused by a negligent anesthesiologist or another careless or inexperienced medical staff member.

Causes of Anesthesia Malpractice:

* Administering too much anesthesia * Not administering enough anesthesia * Failure to properly monitor a patient’s vital statistics * Delay in administering anesthesia * Failure to properly intubate the patient * Leaving the patient unattended * Not properly administering oxygen to a patient during surgery * Intoxication or drug use by the anesthesiologist during surgery * Extremely prolonged sedation of a patient * Defective surgical devices
Injuries Resulting from Anesthesia Malpractice:

* Brain damage * Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
* Heart attack or stroke * Birth defects or injuries * Tracheal injuries * Asphyxia * Organ failure * Allergic reactions * Coma * Anesthesia awareness * Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
* Negligence or carelessness * Wrongful death
Anesthesia Awareness
Anesthesia awareness occurs when a patient is awake during part or all of a surgery because the anesthesia was not administered properly. This can be a horrifying and traumatic experience for the surgical patient, who may hear everything and feel the pain from surgery but is unable to call for help because he or she cannot move or speak. This traumatic experience can lead to psychological and emotional trauma and anxiety disorders.
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You have the right to expect and receive the proper surgical care when undergoing surgery at any hospital or medical facility in the Chicago, Illinois area. If you sustain injuries or other unanticipated damages or side effects because your surgeon made an error during the procedure, you have the right to claim medical malpractice compensation for the physical, emotional, and psychological injuries that you are suffering from.

Attorney Joseph Klest is a Chicago medical malpractice attorney who has helped many surgical patients recover compensation because their surgeon or another member of the surgical team made a mistake during an operation in hospitals throughout Will County, Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, and in other counties throughout Illinois. We would be happy to offer you a free consultation to talk about your surgical malpractice case.

Proving liability due to a surgical error can be a very difficult matter, which is why you need to retain the services of an experienced medical malpractice attorney that has the skills, resources, and experience to determine how the surgical error occurred.

Common Surgical Errors:

* Operating on the wrong part of the body * Performing the wrong operation * Leaving a surgical instrument in a patient’s body * Delay in treatment * Failure to obtain the patient’s consent * Assigning a major surgery to an assistant * Failure to perform caesarean surgery in time to prevent birth trauma * Failure to properly administer anesthesia * Performing the correct operation on the wrong part of the body * Birthing errors/trauma
Common Causes of Surgical Errors:

* Fatigue * Performing too many surgeries in one day * Not supervising a new surgeon properly * Surgical inexperience * Miscommunication between surgical and medical staff * Negligence or carelessness
The repercussions of a surgical error on a patient’s condition can be very serious-even catastrophic. A patient may have to undergo more surgeries to correct the damage done by the surgical mistake. He or she may experience a lot of physical pain. Infections, organ damage, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, disfigurement, loss of limb use, scarring, and wrongful death are some of the devastating consequences that can result because of surgical malpractice.

Surgical errors occur far more frequently in the Chicago area than we would like to think that they do. Attorney Joseph Klest is committed to helping surgical malpractice patients obtain the financial recovery that they are entitled to for the serious acts of medical negligence that has been done to them.
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If you or someone you love has been seriously injured because a nurse involved in your care made a mistake or acted negligently or carelessly anywhere in the Chicago area, contact Joseph Klest, Attorney at Law today. Mr. Klest is an experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney who has successfully helped many nursing malpractice patients injured at hospitals and nursing homes recover compensation for their injuries in Will County, Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, and in other counties throughout Illinois.

Causes of Nursing Malpractice Because of the financial cutbacks made by insurance companies in the past decade, nursing malpractice incidents are on the rise in the Chicago area. Nurses are being forced to work too many hours at a time in hospitals and nursing homes that are understaffed.

Also, due to the lack of funds to hire qualified nurses in the Chicago area, many nursing homes and hospitals are forced to hire nurses from temporary agencies. These nurses may not have enough experience or qualifications and are unfamiliar with the hospital or facility where they have been hired to work.

It is not uncommon for a nurse to be on duty for more than 12 hours and take very short breaks. Nursing fatigue and/or inexperience can be a recipe for disaster, which can result in errors that can seriously injure a patient or jeopardize his/her medical treatment.

Types of Nursing Malpractice:

* Overdosing a patient * Giving the correct medication to the wrong patient * Failure to properly monitor a patient’s condition * Failure to follow the doctor’s orders * Forgetting to give a patient his or her medication * Documentation errors * Failure to notice a dramatic change in a patient’s vitals * Using a medical device incorrectly * Failure to acquire informed consent * Nursing home abuse * Nursing home negligence * Failure to administer a test properly * Dispensing the wrong medication
Errors or failure by a nurse to administer the proper care can cause a patient to become seriously injured, sick, or die. If a nurse acted carelessly, negligently, or made mistakes in providing you or your loved one with the proper medical care, you should speak with an experienced nursing malpractice lawyer that knows how to properly and zealously prosecute your nursing malpractice claim or lawsuit.

Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence
In the United States, thousands of elderly and sick patients live in nursing homes and other special care facilities. Private nurses are hired to care for sick or elderly patients that need full-time care at home. These nurses are supposed to give their patients the medical care and attention that they need. Like doctors, pharmacists, and other medical providers, nurses are supposed to provide their patients with a certain level of care.

Unfortunately, not every nursing or residential care facility abides by this standard of care. There are been many reported and unreported incidents of patients becoming injured, sick, or dying because they have been abused or neglected by a nurse or nursing home facility. Bruises, sexual assault wounds, bedsores, fall injuries, broken bones, severe dehydration, depression, malnutrition, weight loss, and death are some of the injuries that can be inflicted by an abusive or neglectful nurse.

It is vital that you take the necessary steps to remove your loved one from the care facility if you believe that he or she is being abused. Your nursing home abuse attorney can also take the necessary steps to file your nursing abuse claim and begin preparing your case in the event that a lawsuit and trial are required to obtain your loved one’s compensation.

For more information about medical malpractice claims and lawsuits in Illinois, visit our medical malpractice page for more information.
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Failure to diagnose cancer is a medical malpractice error that can lead to grave-if not fatal-consequences for a person afflicted with the disease. Many forms of cancer are easily treatable if diagnosed early enough. Failure to diagnose cancer or delay in diagnosing cancer can seriously affect a cancer patient’s prognosis for recovery, as well as the kind of treatment he or she must undergo in order to survive.

Attorney Joseph Klest is a Chicago medical malpractice attorney who has dealt with cancer-related malpractice cases in Will County, Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, and elsewhere in Illinois. He is aware of the devastating impact that the failure to diagnose cancer can wreak on a patient’s health and chances for survival. He would like to offer you a free consultation to discuss your case.

Consequences of Failure to Diagnose Cancer The sooner that cancer cells are identified and diagnosed in a patient, the sooner a treatment can be prescribed. Depending on the type of cancer a patient is afflicted with, he or she may even be able to forego chemotherapy, radiation, or invasive surgery.

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It can be devastating for a mother and father to have their child sustain a serious physical or medical condition because of the medical negligence or carelessness of a doctor, nurse, or another medical care provider. Injuries from birth trauma are often life-altering and can affect a child for the rest of his or her life.

If your son or daughter has suffered serious injuries as a result of a birthing-related medical error in Chicago or anywhere else in DuPage County, Will County, Cook County, or Lake County, Illinois, you should contact Chicago birth injury lawyer Joseph Klest right away.

Attorney Klest has helped many clients in the Chicago area and in cities throughout Illinois obtain compensation for their children’s birth injuries, and related corrective surgeries, adaptive equipment, therapy, special education needs, ongoing medical care, home remodeling costs, and other expenses.

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Errors made by a physician treating a patient can lead to catastrophic consequences, including permanent injury or wrongful death. Your doctor is supposed to provide you with a certain standard of care. If you have sustained injuries or someone you love died in the Chicago area or anywhere in Illinois because your physician made a medical mistake, you should speak to a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer right away.

Chicago medical malpractice attorney Joseph Klest represents medical malpractice clients throughout Will County, DuPage County, Cook County, and Lake County that have been injured or harmed because of physician errors and other kinds of medical malpractice mistakes. We also handle medical malpractice cases throughout Illinois.

Physician Errors and Injuries Frequently, physician errors occur because a doctor made a mistake, did not possess the skills or experience to properly perform a specific medical procedure, or was careless and did not pay proper attention when treating the patient.