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Alton Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Protect yourself in a hospital with good planning and witnesses

When you're preparing to bring new life into the world, you want everyone around you to be on board with the same goals. You need the nurses and doctors to be familiar with your medical history and birthing plans. They should know what choices you want if something goes wrong and even if it doesn't.

Medical negligence is one of the most terrifying things that can happen to an expectant mother. Instead of getting medications on time, she may not be able to receive them at all. She could have complications from not getting to the hospital in time. In some instances, a failure to provide care can lead to birth injuries or fetal deaths.

What are the safer types of nursing homes?

The best choice for enjoying the golden years can be a difficult one for seniors and their relatives. Thousands of aging people in Illinois require a little assistance to get through their days, and nursing homes or other assisted-living facilities can help with more serious care. This is only true, however, if these facilities are well-run.

Is there a nursing home that is better than another?

The impact of backlogged nursing home payments on patient care

Nursing homes in Illinois that depend on Medicare and Medicaid payments -- like those in many other areas of the country -- are facing a chronic financial crisis due to backlogged payments from the government.

What, however, does that mean for patients?

New Illinois law serves to protect children in cars

When someone is hurt, there is always the desire to blame someone. Some accidents cannot be attributed to a person's legal responsibility, or in some cases, the blame would rest with the victim of the injury. But some laws exist simply to show guidelines for behavior that would not make a person liable.

Illinois' state government passed a law that just took effect regarding rear-facing car seats. Children in moving cars will require devices that reverse their direction in the front passenger or back seat of cars in Illinois. This law applies to children up to 2 years of age, 40 pounds of weight or 40 inches of height.

Man attacks hospital staff, troopers after crash

After a crash, the person who is responsible for hurting or killing others is held liable through their insurance. Not all of these types of incidents will have criminal charges filed. Even if there is not a criminal case, it's still possible to file a civil lawsuit against the other party.

That's good for people who are hurt or who lose loved ones in collisions or as a result of a driver's actions. For example, there was a case from Dec. 30 reflecting on the crash involving a man who became violent at a local hospital. The man, 37, was taken to St. Mary's Hospital, and it's believed that he was intoxicated when he caused the crash.

Previous medical records used in Illinois lawsuit

Nearly everyone relies on a doctor to ease pain, cure diseases or even save a life. Clinical professionals are highly trained and often working with a broad range of experience, but they can make mistakes. If one results in a painful or debilitating problem, the mistake may warrant compensation.

One of the ways that the medical profession and attorneys attempt to prove a doctor's liability is any past record of malpractice or medical errors that resulted in a patient's pain or reduced abilities. If records have been lost or altered, this may also show suspicion and result in a physician's loss of license.

Bar-coded sponges could prevent 'never events' in surgery

If you're a patient who has undergone surgery and found out that a sponge was left inside your body, you're one of many who has suffered from a "never event." A "never event," aptly named due to being an event that never should have happened or shouldn't take place because there are supposed to be safeguards in place to prevent it. Leaving a sponge in a patient is one of those errors that shouldn't happen.

In a surgical setting, a surgical team counts the tools that come into the room. They count them as they're used in the patient, and they count them as they're returned to the tray. These counts are extremely important since they identify if all the tools have been removed from the body. Counting incorrectly or not indicating when a tool enters the body could result in leaving items inside the patient. Those items can cause serious complications.

Illinois introduces laws restricting access to firearms

From the streets of Chicago to the agricultural heartland in the Mississippi River Valley, there are plenty of ways for a resident of Illinois to get inadvertently hurt. Most injuries in the state are accidents with the main concern of recovery, but occasionally someone may be hurt by someone else's actions or negligence.

The state government in Springfield is working to prevent one of the leading causes of personal injury in the state. Two new laws will take effect in January 2019 to restrict access to firearms. The first law expands a 72-hour waiting period for handguns to all consumer firearms, including rifles and shotguns. It would also do away with a waiting period exemption that currently applied to out-of-state residents shopping at gun shows.

New research helps identify early brain changes from injuries

A new report on traumatic brain injuries is making news in the field of traumatic brain injury (TBI) research. These kinds of brain injuries can happen to anyone from athletes to those who are involved in traffic accidents.

Researchers released a new study that looks at changes in neurons in the brain that could indicate a brain injury. With around 153 people dying from these injuries every day in the United States and many more suffering long-term injuries, this research could be a huge step forward in helping identify injuries that could negatively impact patients.

Minimally invasive surgery actually more dangerous, study claims

In most cases, people believe that a less-invasive surgery is a safer surgery. It reduces the likelihood of infections, and it's typically less damaging to the body. However, in studies of minimally invasive surgeries compared to open surgeries for radical hysterectomies, it was shown that the minimally invasive surgery was actually more dangerous.

The reasoning is sound. Women who had the minimally invasive surgery were more likely to have cancer return than those who opted for an open surgery. Women with a minimally invasive surgery had a four-times higher chance of having their cancer return, and they have a lower chance of three-year survival. Open-surgery patients had a three-year survival rate of around 99 percent, while minimally invasive surgeries had a survival rate of around 94 percent.

John J. Hopkins: From Working Iron To
Representing Those Who Work

ALTON —Like any successful trial lawyer, John Hopkins knows the importance of preparation. But he usually doesn’t write out the questions he plans to ask witnesses in depositions or in court.

View Article “I like to react to what the witness is saying—not only what they’re saying, but how they’re saying it,” Hopkins says.

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