Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer Cautious About Victims On Medical Error Review Panels

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Patrick A. Salvi of the Chicago medical negligence law firm of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. says victim involvement in hospitals’ review processes can help to prevent future mistakes, but victims should still be allowed to recover full compensation for their injuries.

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Illinois medical malpractice lawyer Patrick A. Salvi

It is crucial that the voices of victims and their families be heard during an institution’s review of its medical errors. They bring a unique perspective and can pinpoint issues that might be off the radar screen for many medical professionals.

Medical negligence victims’ loved ones can play a positive role in preventing future medical errors by serving on hospital review panels, Chicago medical malpractice attorney Patrick A. Salvi said today in reaction to a recent Chicago Tribune story.

But medical malpractice victims and their families should not have to give up their right to seek full compensation for the damages caused by a health care provider’s negligence in order to serve on such panels, Salvi said.

According to the Tribune, a 39-year-old woman died in 2008 after medical errors caused her to suffer cardiac arrest during an operation at the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago. Instead of suing the hospital, her family accepted a settlement and took positions as lay members of the hospital’s safety panel, the newspaper reported.

“It is crucial that the voices of victims and their families be heard during an institution’s review of its medical errors. They bring a unique perspective and can pinpoint issues that might be off the radar screen for many medical professionals. These novel viewpoints can help hospitals prevent future tragedies,” said Salvi, the managing equity partner of the Chicago medical malpractice law firm of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.

“But it’s equally important for the victims to recover just compensation for the unnecessary harm they have suffered,” Salvi said. “Receiving candor and apologies from negligent medical providers, as well as the right to serve on review panels, should not be contingent on the victims giving up rights to pursue a legal action for their physical, emotional and economic losses.”

The newspaper article cited a study in the April 2011 issue of the journal Health Affairs that reported that “significant adverse events” could happen in as many as one-third of all hospital admissions. The Tribune article also referenced the Institute of Medicine’s calculation that nearly 100,000 Americans die each year because of medical mistakes. Another study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that health care-acquired infections kill 100,000 people annually.

“It is clear that medical malpractice is a major threat to the health and the very lives of people across the country and right here in the Chicago area,” said Salvi, whose law firm represents hospital negligence victims in Cook County, Lake County and throughout Illinois.

Salvi said it is imperative that negligent health care providers admit their mistakes and learn from them in order to protect innocent patients in the future.

According to the Tribune, safety experts and patient advocates have encouraged patients and their families to become more involved in the treatment and review processes to staunch medical errors. For instance, UIC has received a federal grant to help other hospitals set up programs that encourage transparency and patient-centered responses to errors.

“These efforts are encouraging,” Salvi said, “but it is still crucial for victims and their families to seek competent legal counsel if they have been harmed by medical negligence.”

Salvi stressed that experienced and qualified Illinois medical malpractice lawyers can advise medical error victims about all of their legal options.

About Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.

Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. is a leading Illinois medical malpractice law firm with offices in Chicago and Waukegan. The firm represents clients in matters involving emergency room errors, failure to diagnose, hospital negligence, physician error, birth injuries, surgical malpractice, anesthesia errors, organ puncture/perforation, post-operative and pre-operation malpractice and surgical complications. The firm’s success in medical negligence, personal injury and wrongful death cases features recoveries of more than $600 million on behalf of its clients, including more than 170 multi-million dollar verdicts or settlements. To learn more about Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., call (847) 249-1227 or use the firm’s online form.

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