In a recent $2.62 million Cook County medical malpractice verdict, the jury found in favor of the patient who suffered a permanent brain injury after his brain infection went undiagnosed for two weeks. The delay in diagnosis resulted in the permanent brain injury after a brain infection spread to the frontal lobe of the patient’s brain. As a result of the brain injury, the Illinois patient needed numerous brain surgeries, one of which resulted in the removal of a portion of his skull.
The man’s permanent brain injury could have been avoided if not for the Illinois medical malpractice of an Illinois radiologist. After having a seizure, the Illinois plaintiff presented to the emergency room at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital. In order to rule out the cause of the seizure, a MRI of the patient’s brain was ordered. Up to this point the patient’s care was appropriate and the treating physicians were meeting the appropriate standard of care.
The standard of care for medical professionals is defined as the level of care that a reasonable person, in this case a doctor, would exercise in similar circumstances. If a doctor or hospital chose not to satisfy the standard of care in some method of treatment resulting in an injury or death to the patient, then a a case for medical malpractice could be brought.
In this Illinois medical malpractice case, the standard of care was not met when the radiologist incorrectly interpreted the patient’s MRI. The Illinois radiology error occurred when the radiologist reported that the patient only had sinusitis and that there was no cause for concern. However, the MRI clearly showed that the sinusitis from the patient’s nasal area was in fact extending into the patients brain, which should have been reported and then further investigated. Instead the patient was released from the hospital the following day and his undiagnosed infection was allowed to spread for the next two weeks, resulting in his permanent brain injury.
The Chicago hospital settled with the plaintiff prior to the Cook County trial, so the $2.62 million verdict was against a treating radiologist. The verdict was broken down into $1 million for loss of normal life, $250,000 for pain and suffering, $625,000 for past medical expenses, and $750,000 to the plaintiff’s wife for loss of consortium.
The damages awarded for loss of normal life refer to the drastic changes that the plaintiff, a former chemist with a Ph.D. in chemistry, underwent after suffering the permanent brain injury. Pain and suffering are standard considerations to add onto an Illinois medical malpractice and in this case likely refers to the additional surgeries and procedures the patient needed as a result of the medical negligence. Medical expenses are typically reimbursed when it is determined that they arose out of medical malpractice. Loss of consortium refers to the loss of benefits that a spouse typically enjoyed prior to the injury and can include assistance with chores around the house, or matters of a more personal nature.
The damages awarded in an Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit often attempt to compensate for the injury sustained as a result of a doctor or hospital’s negligence. However, they often fall short and in most cases the monetary award cannot repair the damage that has been done.
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