Medical malpractice lawsuits refer to allegations of medical negligence. These lawsuits cover a broad range of areas from medical injuries to wrongful deaths. Though media coverage may paint a picture of an over litigious society, people who suffer because of medical negligence deserve to be compensated for their injuries. Medical negligence can lead to serious injury or death and cause a lifetime of unforeseen medical costs.
Patient’s Death During Childbirth
Many medical malpractice lawsuits result from childbirth or pregnancy. There are thousands of childbirths performed each day and the consequences can be severe when medical personnel are careless. When a mother or child is hurt, liability may accrue. Most of these cases take the form of medical malpractice claims, and, when a patient dies as a result of the situation, then a wrongful death claim may also be filed.
To get an idea of a common form of birth injury lawsuit in Chicago, consider a local case. In 2008, a man filed a lawsuit against University of Chicago Hospital, MacNeal Hospital, and two hospital specialist following the death of his wife which occurred during childbirth. As discussed by ABC News, the resident alleged that the specialists failed to properly read his wife’s ultrasound, two months prior to her death. The hospital specialists did not identify a condition known as placenta accrete, which causes the placenta to grow through a patient's uterine wall. The placenta accrete caused massive bleeding during childbirth and was fatal.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, placenta accreta occurs in 1 out of every 533 pregnancies. If the placenta accrete had been properly recorded during the ultrasound, doctors would have been prepared for the complications that arose during delivery. Making a diagnosis of placenta accrete before delivery allows for proper planning to minimize chances of mortality. The doctors could have ordered extra IVs and blood supplies for the delivery, which would have been available to Mrs. Lopez during her delivery.
Wrongful Death & Medical Malpractice Award
On Nov. 22, 2013, a Cook County circuit court jury awarded the husband a $15.5 million judgment for the death of his wife. After deliberating for less than six hours the jury determined that medical negligence contributed to her death. The trial lasted two weeks and the award was the third largest for a wrongful death in a medical malpractice case in Cook County history.
This case is a good example of the extreme consequences of medical neglect. While infants are usually the victims of birthing mistakes, it is critical not to forget that mothers are just as vulnerable. For this reason, it is incumbent upon medical personnel to act prudently at these times to ensure preventable errors are caught.
If your or a loved one may have suffered injury as a result of problem during pregnancy or birth, please contact our lawyers today to see how we can help. We work with families in Chicago and many other communities in Illinois to ensure redress and accountability following birthing errors.
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