Wrongful deaths cost Illinois hospitals millions

Emergency dropoff sign

>Medical errors made in Illinois hospitals have created a hefty price tag for area medical facilities as well as Illinois taxpayers, a fact know by a Lake County wrongful death attorney. Mistakes made by hospital staff and other medical professionals has resulted in a substantial number of patient deaths, disabilities and injuries, according to a Better Government Association article. Taxpayers who support state funded facilities have had to pay for these medical errors, which totaled more than $180 million over the past 10 years. Not only is this alarming to taxpayers who work hard to keep the public hospitals running, but people are surprised at how many avoidable medical errors have killed and injured people in hospitals designed to provide patient care.

In one incident, a woman died from a blood clot that traveled from her leg to her lungs. Hospital staff found the woman on the floor dying, and were unable to resuscitate her. Although the doctor ordered for the woman to be given a blood thinner to prevent clotting earlier that day, no one gave her the medication. Unfortunately, she lost her life as a result. Her family won a $2.25 million settlement for wrongful death.

Lethal hospital errors

Patient Safety America, an advocacy organization, evaluated the high rate of medical errors in hospitals and found that more than 400,000 people a year are victims of fatal hospital errors in the U.S. In 1999, the number of hospital mistakes leading to patient death was reported at 100,000. These deadly mistakes are the result of systematic errors in how the hospital staff prevents, detects and responds to an emergency situation, as well as medical malpractice and negligence among medical professionals.

Types of hospital errors

A Lake County wrongful death attorney knows that there are a myriad of things that can go wrong when admitted into a hospital for treatment of an illness or to have a surgical procedure performed. According to a CNN News report, these errors include:

  • Misdiagnosing the severity of a condition
  • Operating on the wrong patient or the wrong body part
  • Giving a patient the wrong medication or failing to administer the medication correctly
  • Leaving a surgical instrument inside a patient after performing a procedure
  • Failing to act quickly when a patient is having emergency complications
  • Using the wrong technique or procedure to treat a patient

Those who are lucky enough to survive a medical error may be forced to live with severe complications or a permanent disability because of medical negligence.

Dealing with the aftermath

Sadly, many people have been affected by hospital errors, in Illinois medical facilities and in hospitals across the country. Some victims of medical negligence in Illinois have chosen to speak with a Lake County wrongful death attorney about the details of their case.