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Alton Medical Malpractice Law Blog

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.

New hospital approach reduces caesarian births

Carrying a child to term is one of the greatest challenges many women face, and some are more than willing to make the experience as brief as possible towards the end of the pregnancy. Thousands of obstetricians have recommended caesarean section, or C-section, which bypasses labor through a quick surgical procedure. Some doctors are now shying away from this recommendation.

A new program in an urban hospital with a large maternity ward is taking a new approach to determining when a C-section is needed. Most clinicians agree there is a "gray zone" in which it is not immediately clear if delivery or surgery is the right choice. This program is determined to "solve for the grey," making the choice easier to make.

Sexual abuse remains a problem in nursing homes

Millions of American families rely on nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and long-term clinics to care for elder relatives no longer able to manage their own medication and daily needs. One of the main concerns we have for these residents is isolation and loneliness. Regrettably, that is not the only concern.

A recent investigation into Illinois and Missouri nursing home resident and staff lists showed an ominous possibly of underreported sexual abuse. Many cases are not reported at all, leading observers to estimate that as many as one in five long-term residents has been subject to sexual abuse.

Here's 3 tips for finding a better nursing home

Nursing home neglect is a pervasive problem throughout the United States. Nursing homes are held accountable when these instances of neglect are reported, but it's necessary for people to go through horrible pain and suffering before that can happen.

It is important that your loved one doesn't have to struggle when they should be receiving care. Senior citizens deserve respect and support from those around them. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make sure the nursing home is safe for your loved ones. Here are three things you can do before you choose a nursing home.

Many 'never events' surgical errors caused by poor communication

Surgeries that involve the wrong patient, procedure or site are referred commonly known as "never events" because they're ones that shouldn't ever occur if the right pre-operative protocol is followed. While data shows that this type of surgical error only happens once in every 112,000 procedures in a hospital setting, those that occur in outpatient settings may be remarkably higher.

Researchers have determined that wrong site, procedure or patient errors (WSPEs) are primarily to blame on communication issues. They most often occur because the entire medical team fails to perform a surgical timeout, which involves them all pausing to review the procedure before it gets underway.

What is the Firearms Restraining Order Act?

Illinois has seen its share of gun violence, and it regrettably has not changed much for people at risk. The lawmakers in Springfield worked this year to institute the Firearms Restraining Order Act, which will hopefully make it easier for people to prevent possible injury or death.

What is the Firearms Restraining Order Act?

Nursing home resident lost life savings to financial abuse

Nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in Illinois are institutions that help elderly people live well in their golden years, as well as take pressure off busy relatives to keep them safe and happy. Clinicians and aides in these homes are generally caring professionals who render the proper care, but some instances of abuse can mar the entire profession.

Physical and psychological abuse sometimes occur when staff are frustrated by patients suffering physical and mental disabilities later in life. Financial abuse, however, often comes from the opportunity to exploit patients combined with the greed of staff struggling with their own expenses.

You can hold your obstetrician accountable for your stillbirth

Any fetus who suffers an intrauterine death after 20 weeks of gestation is considered to be stillborn. National Stillbirth Society data shows that one in every 160 pregnancies ends in a stillbirth. While some of these happen while a mother is in labor or during delivery, a large majority of them occur during her pregnancy.

The only way parents can find out why a stillbirth occurred is by having an autopsy performed on the baby. Medical examiners who have performed these have determined that certain factors can lead to stillbirths.

Software causes problems for physicians and their patients

Most doctors value technology and respect it as it improves their tools for saving lives. However, despite this attitude and physicians being among the most tech-literate professionals in Illinois and the United States, many of them dislike their experience with computers in the workplace.

Electronic medical records (EMR) software is a big business, with every practice and hospital requiring a system, but many of them having pitfalls for the users. One specific program was designed to customize records based on the greatest calculated risks to patients. A doctor says it has only made it harder to treat patients.

Does the use of smartphones contribute to surgical errors?

We have become increasingly dependent on personal electronic devices, and surgeons are no exception. Smartphones typically top the list of "must-have" devices. They often take the user's attention away from what they are supposed to be doing. While surgeons are known for their professional commitment, they are just as vulnerable to distraction as anyone else is.

Smartphones are often invaluable to medical personnel. They allow surgeons to readily communicate with other staff members and access information that helps treat patients. However, when medical professionals use their phones for other reasons, issues may arise.

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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