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Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyersIdeally, a professional in any industry should do his or her job to the best of his or her ability. When someone is a doctor, surgeon, anesthesiologist, or other medical professional, job performance is a matter of life and death. Even a seemingly simple mistake or oversight can lead to disastrous consequences in the medical field. Some medical mistakes are so grievous that they are called “never events” because they should never happen. If you or a loved one were harmed in a never event, it is important to learn about your legal options. You may be entitled to financial compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

Examples of Never Events

Medical professionals are human, and like all humans, they can make mistakes. However, when a medical professional makes a serious, avoidable medical mistake, the professional or the facility may be liable for damages. Often, medical malpractice cases involve ambiguous situations in which a medical worker’s actions are questionable but not immediately, obviously negligent. It is only after a detailed investigation that the medical professional’s negligence becomes apparent. A never event is typically much more blatant. Some examples of never events include:

  • Performing surgery on the wrong body part
  • Performing surgery on the wrong patient
  • Leaving a foreign object such as a surgical tool inside the patient’s body
  • Using contaminated drugs or devices
  • Administering the wrong medication or an inaccurate dose of medication
  • Inseminating the wrong egg or using the wrong donor sperm during artificial insemination
  • Allowing a patient’s bed sore to reach a stage 3 or above in severity
  • Physical abuse or sexual assault of a patient

Legal Rights After Being the Victim of a Never Event

Although serious, avoidable medical mistakes should never be made, studies show that these events are more common than one may assume. One study found that over 4,000 never events occur each year in the United States. If you were injured because of a medical mistake or your loved one died because of medical negligence, you may have the right to bring a civil claim against the liable party. You may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, lost income due to missed work, funeral and burial expenses, disability, disfigurement, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other damages.

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Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyersThere are a variety of ways that doctors or other medical professionals can make mistakes that affect the health and well-being of their patients. Misdiagnosis is one of the most prevalent forms of medical malpractice, and it can cause patients to suffer serious harm. If a person’s condition is not properly diagnosed, they may not receive the necessary treatment in time to prevent serious risks to their health, or they may receive the wrong type of treatment, which can lead to additional health complications. 

Conditions That Can Lead to Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis can occur for a variety of reasons. Doctors may fail to properly consider a patient’s medical history, they may not spend enough time examining a patient, or they may not give enough weight to the symptoms reported by the patient. In other cases, diagnostic errors, including mistakes at medical labs, failure to order the proper tests, or failure to properly review test results, can lead to an incorrect diagnosis.

Some of the illnesses and ailments that are most commonly misdiagnosed include:

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Arlington Heights personal injury attorneysPharmacies have the exceptionally important responsibility of filling patients’ prescriptions and dispensing medication. If a pharmacist or other pharmacy worker makes a mistake, it is possible that a patient could receive the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of medication. This may lead to serious or even fatal consequences. If you or a loved one were harmed because of a pharmacy error, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim.

Common Types of Pharmacy Mistakes

When patients take a prescription to the pharmacist to have it filled, most trust that they will receive the correct prescription in the dosage ordered by their doctor. Unfortunately, pharmacists sometimes make mistakes. If a patient does not recognize a pharmacy mistake before taking the medication, he or she may take a drug that leads to severe medical complications. Some of the most common pharmacy errors include:

  • Dispensing the wrong medication
  • Dispensing a medication in the wrong dosage
  • Giving the patient misinformation regarding the medication’s administration or dosage
  • Failing to account for drug interactions
  • Failing to account for patient allergies

Elements of Pharmacy Malpractice

If you or a loved one were the victim of a pharmacy mistake, you may be wondering what your legal options are. In order to bring a successful pharmacy malpractice claim and recover financial compensation, four main elements must be present:

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Arlington Heights medical malpractice attorney delayed diagnosis

For patients who are suffering from serious medical issues, the diagnosis of their condition is essential to make sure they can receive the proper treatment. This is especially true in cases involving diseases such as cancer, since surgery, chemotherapy, or other treatments must be performed before the illness progresses beyond a certain stage. A delayed diagnosis can cause a person to suffer serious harm, and in some cases, their condition may progress to the point where it is untreatable, resulting in wrongful death

When Is a Delayed Diagnosis Considered Medical Malpractice?

Properly diagnosing a patient’s condition can often be difficult, since people can experience a wide variety of symptoms that can be interpreted in different ways. Doctors are trained to recognize the signs of serious illnesses, and if they are uncertain about a diagnosis, they should take the proper steps to gain as much understanding about a patient’s condition as possible. Some forms of medical negligence that could lead to a delayed diagnosis include:

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Rolling Meadows medical negligence attorney prescription error

Modern times have led to a reduction in mom-and-pop pharmacies and an increase in commercial pharmacies that dominate this business. While some may argue that retail pharmacies have resulted in a more systemized approach to the dispensation of prescriptions, it may have also opened the door to less individual attention being paid to consumers. While everyone makes mistakes in their job, a medical professional or pharmacists’ errors can lead to deadly results. An investigation run by the New York Times presented a pharmacist’s acknowledgment of these unfortunate errors, attributing the issue to a shortage of staff. One anonymous pharmacist from South Carolina admitted to making 10 to 12 errors that year -- and these were only the errors that were caught. While patients have little control over the prescriptions that they are given, there are a few ways that they can mitigate their risk of taking incorrect medication.

Speak With Your Pharmacist

Pharmacies always seem to have long lines of customers who are waiting for their medication refills and few employees working at any given time. Although it may seem bothersome during busy times, it is important to discuss your prescription with your pharmacist. Ask them targeted questions about possible side effects and any other medication you are taking that may interfere with this medicine. By asking these questions, the pharmacist will likely take a second look at the prescription to make sure that it matches your doctor’s orders.

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