Surgical Room Traffic May Increase Infection Risks

Posted on: November 27, 2015 by in Medical Malpractice
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medical malpractice lawyer in ChicagoSurgical rooms have specialized airflow systems that prevent contaminated air from outside from entering the operating room. However, every time people open the doors to the operating room to enter or exit, contaminated air from outside is introduced into the operating room. This places the patient undergoing surgery at an increased risk of an infection.

According to a new study, too much traffic to and from an operating room is a great patient risk, because it places patients at risk of possibly serious infections. As part of the study, researchers monitored the number of exits and entries involving door openings at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. They also recorded the length of these openings, and found that in about one- third of the surgeries, there were enough number of door openings to actually render the airflow system quite useless.

The researchers believe that this is a problem that likely exists in other hospitals across the country as well. The number of times the door to the operating room opens, and the longer it is left open, the greater the risk that contaminated air will place the patient at risk of infection.

When patients are admitted into a hospital for treatment of a procedure, they do not expect to suffer an infection that was actually caused by conditions in the hospital. Hospital-acquired infections can include serious blood stream infections like sepsis, pneumonia and urinary tract infections. Some of these infections can even be deadly.

If you have suffered a hospital –acquired infection when you were in a hospital for treatment, discuss whether you have a claim for damages by discussing your case with a medical malpractice lawyer in Chicago. If you can establish liability, you may be able to recover damages that include medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Talk to a medical malpractice lawyer in Chicago today.

What Compensation Can I expect for a Neck Injury in a Car Accident?

Posted on: November 25, 2015 by in Auto Accidents, Car Accidents
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Chicago car accident lawyerA person may be at risk of different types of neck injuries in an accident. These range from broken bones and fractures, to soft tissue injuries and nerve injuries.

In a rear end accident, a person is very likely to suffer from whiplash, which is an injury of the soft tissues, and nerves in the neck, head and shoulders. In an accident that results in severe blunt force trauma to the neck, there may be a fracture. Your compensation will differ, depending on whether you suffered a fracture, or some kind of soft tissue injury.

Compensation may be lesser in the case of a soft tissue injury, compared to a fracture. Also remember that it may be more difficult to prove severe injury and impairment in the case of a soft tissue injury, than a broken bone.

There are also other factors involved in determining compensation, like the extent of your medical treatment. If your treatment included surgery, spinal fusion, and other extensive options, you can expect higher compensation. Whiplash is an injury that is typically treated with physiotherapy, cervical collar, and other types of nonsurgical options, and compensation for these injuries may be lower than for a fracture.

The extent of your impairment after the injuries is also a major factor. If your injury has left you unable to return to your former job, because of impaired mobility or movement, you can claim higher damages. If however, the neck injury has not significantly impaired your earning potential, compensation might be lowered accordingly.

To understand what type of compensation you may be eligible for after a neck injury in a car accident, speak with a Chicago car accident lawyer. It’s important to identify all of the parties liable in your claim, as well as the different types of damages that you may be eligible for depending on your specific case. Speak to a Chicago car accident lawyer today.

Injury Risks to Pregnant Women in Car Accidents

Posted on: November 23, 2015 by in Auto Accidents, Car Accidents
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Chicago car accident lawyerPregnant women who are involved in car accidents may suffer a unique risk of injury, and special risks that are specific to their situation. You don’t have to be involved in a high-impact or even a moderate- impact car accident to suffer serious injury risks to yourself and your unborn child. Even a low-impact accident can cause injuries that are serious enough to threaten the life of the baby.

An accident can increase the risk of complications, including the following.

• Placental abruption-this is a state in which the placenta detaches from the uterine wall, which blocks off an essential supply of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. This is a serious condition, and is possibly fatal to the fetus.
• Premature birth-A baby born before time may suffer from a host of problems, including lung infections, and respiratory illnesses that may impact his long-term health as well.
• Cesarean section or emergency delivery
• Severe hemorrhaging
• Miscarriage
• Stillbirth

Remember, that if you have been involved in an accident, it is important to get yourself checked and to go to an emergency room even if you do not see any visible signs of injury. Remember, that you may not notice bruises immediately, but it is important to undergo a complete checkup to ensure that the fetus is not in danger. Needless to say, if you see any signs of injury, like fatigue, dizziness, bleeding, unusual discharge, nausea or vomiting, get yourself to a hospital emergency room immediately.

For help filing a car accident claim after you have been injured in a car accident, get in touch with a Chicago car accident lawyer. You may recover damages for medical expenses, lost income, diminished earning capacity, disability, pain and suffering, loss of consortium and other damages. Schedule a consultation with a Chicago car accident lawyer today.

How to Coax a Senior Citizen into Giving up Driving

Posted on: November 20, 2015 by in Auto Accidents, Car Accidents
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Chicago car accident lawyerSeniors, who are in their 60s, 70s and 80s, may begin to see age-related impairments that could affect their ability to drive safely. Vision is affected, responses are delayed, and lack of flexibility makes it difficult for a person to turn around to see vehicles behind his car. All of these can increase the risk of being involved in an accident.

However, asking a senior to give up driving when you notice that his driving skills are impaired is not easy. One report by researchers at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Columbia University found that seniors who gave up driving were at least twice as likely to suffer from symptoms of depression, compared to seniors who continued to drive. Driving privileges are a key component of mental and emotional health for senior citizens.

It’s best for seniors to self-police themselves, and stop driving when they know that their driving abilities are impaired. Many seniors fortunately are able to do this. They’re able to gauge their own driving abilities, and when they find that they are not able to drive the same way that they used to a decade ago, they are willing to give up their car keys and stop driving.

However, if your family member or your loved one is not willing to give up the car keys in spite of advancing years, you might want to note if there are changes in his driving abilities.

Is he taking a much longer time to drive and return home than before?
Is he getting involved in minor accidents?
Is he getting lost very often?
Is he finding it difficult to read traffic signs clearly?

If you see these signs, start that conversation with your loved one immediately. For help filing a claim after a car accident, get in touch with a Chicago car accident lawyer.

US Soccer Federation Bans Headers for Young Athletes

Posted on: November 18, 2015 by in Medical Malpractice
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Chicago brain injury lawyerSports constitute a major risk of brain injury among children between the age of five and 14. Some sports may be much more likely to result in a brain injury than others. While football seems to gain the most amount of attention as a sport that has a high risk of brain injury involved, the fact is that young players playing soccer may also be at a high risk of injury. Players may be at risk of a concussion or possibly an even more serious brain injury when they frequently head, or use their head to hit the ball.

In an important move, the United States Soccer Federation has announced that it will ban headers by players below the age of 10. That announcement comes after a lawsuit that alleged that soccer organizations have been very negligent in the treatment of brain injuries. The class-action lawsuit was filed in August 2014 in California, where a group of parents accused soccer bodies of negligence in the treatment of and dealing of head injuries that occurred on the soccer pitch. The class-action suit claims that approximately 50,000 high school soccer players sustained brain injuries and concussions in 2010 alone.

In response to these allegations, the US soccer Federation is soon expected to announce new safety guidelines that are aimed at reducing the risk of head injuries among young soccer players. Players below the age of 10 will be prevented from using headers, and those between ages 11 and 13 will also face limitations on use of headers.

If your child has suffered a brain injury in an accident while playing sports, or due to any other reason, get in touch with a Chicago brain injury attorney to learn about your legal options. Schedule a consultation with a Chicago brain injury lawyer today.

Phillips Law Offices Partners Awarded

Posted on: November 16, 2015 by in Personal Injury
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Chicago personal injury attorneyIf you’ve sustained a personal injury in the Chicago area in a traffic accident, an incident of medical malpractice, or because of a property owner’s or a product manufacturer’s negligence, consult at once with an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney at Phillips Law Offices. Recognized in statewide surveys of attorneys as one of the top personal injury firms in Illinois, Phillips Law Offices is pleased to announce that managing partner Stephen D. Phillips and partner Jill M. Webb are both the recipients of a 2015 Trial Lawyer Excellence award from the Jury Verdict Reporter, a division of Law Bulletin Publishing Company. They received the award for Highest Peoria County Personal Injury Verdict or Settlement at the 6th Annual JVR Awards for Trial Lawyer Excellence, which was held on October 21st at the Harold Washington Library in downtown Chicago.

More than 250 trial attorneys and judges were in attendance for the reception and awards ceremony. The program recognized superior outcomes and record verdicts achieved by individuals and teams of trial lawyers from both the plaintiff and defense bars. Mr. Phillips and Ms. Webb both received a plaque with the inscription, “In Recognition of Successful Representation of Your Clients.”

When you are catastrophically injured or a loved one is suddenly and tragically killed in a preventable accident, your life and your family are forever changed. The physical suffering, economic damage, and emotional trauma can be overwhelming. Let us help. When we represent you in a personal injury or wrongful death action, Phillips Law Offices fights confidently and aggressively for the maximum available compensation – and for justice – on your behalf. If you are the victim of an injury caused by another person’s negligence, or if you are the survivor of a victim of wrongful death, speak as quickly as possible to an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney at the award-winning Phillips Law Offices.

Cardiac Defibrillator Settlement Involves Hundreds of Hospitals

Posted on: November 13, 2015 by in Products Liability
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Chicago product liability lawyerAccording to insider reports, hundreds of hospitals around the United States have settled with US government over charges that they over used surgeries to implant implantable cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs in patients. The settlement came after an investigation into such overuse of implantable cardioverter defibrillators.

It’s not known exactly how many hospitals are involved in the settlement, but it is believed that the number suspected of overusing these ICD procedures was at least 500, and the majority of those hospitals have agreed to a settlement.

Some of the hospitals that agreed to a settlement include HCA, which has admitted that it will pay $15.8 million to settle the allegations. Tenet Healthcare Corporation will also pay $12.1 million in settlement of the allegations. However, none of the hospitals will admit any liability as part of the settlement.

The investigation that began at least four years ago was based on the suspected overuse of the implantation of these devices, which are connected to the heart and are designed to deliver an electric shock if they detect any irregular cardiac rhythm. Irregular cardiac rhythm is a serious problem facing millions of Americans, and the devices began to be implanted very frequently after changes in Medicare rules in 2005. Those rules allowed the devices to be used for the primary treatment of the condition.

The rules clearly mention that devices cannot be implanted within a period of 40 days after the person suffers a heart attack, or 90 days after he undergoes a bypass surgery or angioplasty. In many cases, doctors went ahead and performed the surgical procedures in these cases anyway, raising the risk of injury to patients.

If you have suffered injuries as a result of a defective medical device, speak to a Chicago product liability lawyer. Schedule a consultation with a Chicago product liability lawyer today.

About Half of All Surgeries Involve Medication Errors

Posted on: November 11, 2015 by in Medical Malpractice
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medical malpractice lawyer in ChicagoMedication errors occur very frequently in surgeries. In fact, a new study finds that the rate of such errors in operating rooms around the country may be much higher than earlier believed. A study of surgeries that were performed at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital found that medication errors occurred in almost 50% of the surgeries that were performed at the hospital during an eight-month period. According to the researchers, it is reasonable to assume that similar such errors occur in hospitals around the country.

That is definitely cause for alarm. Many of the errors that were analyzed as part of the study found that some of these were serious enough to cause severe harm. At least one-third of the medication errors resulted in patient harm, while the remaining had the potential to cause serious patient harm.

The most frequent medication errors that came to light in the study, included labeling errors, dosage errors, which included administration of incorrect dosages, and failure to immediately respond appropriately to a problem indicated by vital signs. The study also found that the hospital made serious errors in the documentation of these incidents.

As the healthcare industry moves towards the adoption of black box technology to record surgeries in hospital rooms, and other technological advances are designed to reduce the risk of surgical errors, it is also important to focus on the basics. The fact is that many of these medication errors in operating rooms can be reduced simply by using timeouts, carefully observing medication names and having a system of checks and balances that can identify errors before they cause serious patient harm.

If you were injured as a result of surgical errors in the hospital, speak to a medical malpractice lawyer in Chicago about your options for compensation for your damages. You may be eligible for damages that include medical expenses and lost income. Speak to a medical malpractice lawyer in Chicago today.

Research: Most Truck Accidents Caused by Fatigue, Cell Phone Use

Posted on: November 9, 2015 by in Auto Accidents
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Chicago truck accident lawyersNew research indicates that the use of cell phones while driving, and driver fatigue continue to be major factors that increase a truck driver’s risk of being involved in an accident. If you were involved in an accident, schedule a consultation with a Chicago trucking accident lawyer to learn about your rights.

The study that was conducted by researchers at the University of Utah speculates that truck drivers have unique work conditions that increase the risk of being involved in an accident. One of those were conditions is fatigue. A trucker may be at a high risk of fatigue, because of the nature of his job that requires him to drive thousands of miles all alone.

Besides, there’s the monotony of the job involved. The job is a stressful one, and truckers frequently go long hours without sleep. They do not have access to exercise. Add to this irregular mealtimes, and poor diet, and you understand why truck drivers have poor general health. Bad health is also linked to another truck accident factor revealed by the study – high blood pressure readings. The study found that truck drivers, who suffered high blood pressure were much more likely to be involved in an accident.

Poor nutrition also contributes to obesity which is a major factor in sleep apnea, a condition that is common in the trucking community and causes fatigue while driving.

Apart from fatigue, and blood pressure however, the study also found that truck drivers who were using cell phones while driving, were at a high risk of being involved in an accident.

If you were involved in a trucking accident, speak to a trucking accident lawyer to learn more about your options for compensation. You may be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost wages, disability and pain and suffering. Speak to a Chicago trucking accident lawyer today.

FDA Warns of Injury, Death Risks with Hepatitis C. Medications

Posted on: November 6, 2015 by in Products Liability
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The federal Food and Drug Administration recently warned that 2 hepatitis C drugs that are manufactured by pharmaceutical company AbbVie can cause complications including severe liver damage. These complications could result in liver injury in patients who already have advanced Hepataitic-C. If you have suffered injuries from the use of a defective medication, speak to a product liability lawyer in Chicago.

According to the Food And Drug Administration, it has received numerous reports of injuries and illnesses from persons who were taking the drugs for the treatment of hepatitis C. These reports included reports of patients who had to undergo liver transplants after suffering severe liver injury after the use of Viekira Pak and Technivie.

The reports also include persons who died after suffering serious injuries. The agency says that it has confirmation of at least 26 injury cases that were associated with the use of these two drugs at least since late 2014. It also believes that there are possibly other patients across the country who are possibly suffering from serious side effects from the use of the drugs.

According to the federal agency, the liver damage typically occurred within four weeks after the patient started treatment for hepatitis C using these drugs. Patients who were at risk of liver damage from the use of these two drugs already suffered from cirrhosis of the liver.

Now the Food and Drug Administration says that it will require the company to add warning labels to the packaging of the drugs for patients, who already suffer from a liver disease linked to hepatitis C. The agency is also asking doctors to carefully monitor patients who have been prescribed the drugs, and look for symptoms of exacerbation of liver disease.

If you are currently taking these drugs, and have suffered symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fatigue and other signs of liver injury, speak to your doctor immediately. Call a product liability lawyer in Chicago to ascertain your chances for compensation.