Walk into any medical facility in the Chicago area and throughout the entire United States and you will find a sterile, pristine and bright building filled with doctors and nurses who have obtained advanced degrees and have attended extensive training seminars to learn how to care and treat patients who suffer from a variety of ailments.
So why then are so many people injured as a result of medical malpractice in this country?
Over the past decade, hospitals in Illinois and across the country have taken measures to increase the safety of their patients. Surgeons are taking mandatory “time-outs” in order to double check that they are operating on the correct patients and even the correct body parts. Nurses are checking up on those who are too sick and frail to walk every thirty minutes in order to make sure they are receiving the assistance they need to avoid injuries. And hospitals continue to address potential problems and hazards by updating hospital policies and procedures.
But even after taking all of these precautions and steps to ensure patient safety in our nation’s hospitals, medical errors in hospitals don’t seem to be decreasing. In the state of Minnesota alone, doctors operated on the wrong patients or the wrong body parts 53 times last year. And 73 patients were severely disabled due to falls that occurred on hospital grounds. Six patients died from injuries after falling in the hospital. Hundreds of other medical errors were also reported by 75 different hospitals last year.
The cause of these problems might stem from many different factors. Sometimes nurses and doctors work long shifts with little to no sleep and make dangerous mistakes due to fatigue. Sometimes surgeons and doctors have to see too many patients in a single day without getting to know each case on a personal level, which may result in medical errors.
No matter what excuse a hospital gives you or a loved one about a mistake they have made, you may still be eligible to seek compensation in the state of Illinois when you are harmed by a mistake that should have been avoided. Even when medical mistakes do not result in disabling or fatal injuries, the mistakes may still be very costly and painful.
Source: Star Tribune, “Hospital error rate in Minnesota isn’t improving,” Jeremy Olson, Jan. 31, 2013
- Our firm provides counsel to those who have been harmed by medical errors, including hospital negligence. To learn more about our firm and practice, please visit our Chicago hospital negligence lawyer page.