In the state of Illinois, medical malpractice or medical negligence is considered when injury or death (that could have been prevented) occurs after treatment by a healthcare professional or institution. This usually results from the healthcare provider or institution violating standard healthcare practices. There are many types of medical malpractice, and there are five types that are recognized in the state of Illinois.
#1: Birth Injuries
Birth injuries are medical errors made during labor and delivery and they can significantly impact the baby’s quality of life. This is different from a birth defect, which is typically present well before labor and delivery. Many different types of birth injuries can occur.
Sometimes the infant’s shoulders are lodged in the birth canal. Labor and delivery healthcare professionals can damage the baby’s shoulders if they’re not careful during delivery.
Facial Nerve Palsy
Too much pressure on the infant’s face can result in facial nerve palsy. This, in turn, results in a loss of voluntary movement in the facial muscles.
Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological disorders that affect the cerebellum and cerebrum and can affect body movement and muscle coordination. This is one of the most common types of birth injuries.
Brachial Plexus (Erb’s Palsy)
Erb’s palsy affects the nerves radiating down the arms. This type of birth injury usually occurs with the use of forceps or vacuum extraction.
#2: Dental Malpractice
Dental malpractice is often categorized as a specific type of medical malpractice since dentistry isn’t considered a part of medicine. However, dental negligence also exists, and it includes things like failure to properly diagnose and treat oral conditions that could lead to further health problems.
#3: Emergency Room and Hospital Errors
Medical errors occurring in hospitals are also pretty common, and many different types of errors can occur in a hospital including follow-up care after a hospital stay. During hospital stays, patients can fall, develop infections, and medical staff in emergency rooms can even fail to diagnose and promptly treat emergency conditions, such as strokes and heart attacks.
Also related to hospital errors are medication errors— which can happen outside of hospital settings. Medication errors can include giving a patient the wrong medication, giving the patient medication at the wrong time(s), or giving too much or too little medication to the patient. All of these can result in worsening medical conditions.
#4: Misdiagnosis and Negligent Treatment
Misdiagnosis is actually very common in the medical field, but it’s not always due to the negligence of a medical professional. However, sometimes it is the result of a medical professional not taking the proper steps to come to the correct diagnosis, which results in treating the wrong condition and/or the undiagnosed condition becoming worse.
Diagnostic errors are also a form of medical negligence, and they happen when medical professionals fail to accurately read diagnostic tests (e.g., x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc.). This also leads to misdiagnosis and/or failure to diagnose.
#5: Surgical Errors
Surgical mistakes are a specific type of hospital error that is also considered malpractice. While rare, surgical errors are still pretty common in Illinois and almost always result in more health complications than before the surgical error.
Wrong Site, Patient, and/or Procedure
Hospitals and other inpatient facilities can be negligent and operate on the wrong part of the body or even on the wrong patient. Both of these can be examples of the wrong procedures, but the wrong surgical procedure can be performed on a patient that doesn’t need surgery.
Leaving Objects in Patients
While rare, leaving objects in patients during surgical procedures can also happen. This is usually something like a medical instrument (or a piece of one), and this can result in an infection or internal bleeding.
Errors in administering anesthesia are the most common type of surgical error, and it’s often considered to be its own category of medical malpractice. However, anesthesia is usually administered during surgical procedures in both inpatient and outpatient facilities. Unfortunately, anesthesia administration isn’t an exact science, so the anesthesiologist has to determine exactly how much to administer to a patient based on their age, weight, and the type of surgery being performed. Too much anesthesia can result in death, while too little means the patient can wake up during the surgery.
No matter the medical mistake, Illinois residents can contact a medical malpractice lawyer for more compensation information.
The statue of limitation for medical malpractice in Illinois is two years after the patient (or surviving family member) discovers the claim. This is important to know before contacting a medical malpractice lawyer.