If you have ever talked with an Illinois personal injury lawyer about a possible medical mistake they may have mentioned that even increased risk of future complication constitutes a form of injury.
Of course, most patients are never made aware of the fact that they’ve been victimized by a medical mistake until that error has resulted in physical harm to their bodies. However, in some cases the mistake does not immediately cause harm but instead only increases the risk that some injury will result in the future.
Malpractice occurs at the time the error is made-even if the injury is only speculative in the future. For example, mistakes like major radiation overdoses may increase a patient’s risk of developing cancer. That increased risk is an actual injury suffered by the patient unnecessarily.
It is important to understand that distinction when reading stories like one recently reported by NOLA News related to improper sanitation. It is explained how more than 200 patients were potentially exposed to endoscopes that were not properly sanitized, increasing their risk of contracting infectious diseases.
The devices are used in various gastrointestinal procedures, and they require an automated disinfection cleaning process. Unfortunately 222 patients received letters recently indicating that officials could not confirm that the device used during their own procedures were actually cleaned in this required manner. The result is that patients were at risk of contacting diseases like HIV and hepatitis.
Hopefully no patient suffers complications from this error. However, events like this are reminders that patient safety is always in need of improvement. Every day our Chicago personal injury attorneys work with families who are enduring unnecessary heart-break because their medical professionals did not do everything in their power to ensure patient safety was prioritized.
Please contact our Illinois medical malpractice lawyers if you or a loved one has suffered as a result ineffective patient safety measures.
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