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Medical procedures can be intimidating for most people. They put a person in a stressful position in which a person must often choose between life and death. Doing so involves a great deal of trust in the medical professionals performing medical procedures, especially procedures that could lead to serious injury or death. Unfortunately, while medical professionals are highly trained individuals, routine procedures can be negligently performed. In other words, regardless of how much experience a medical professional has in a certain area or procedure, it is still possible for that medical professional to make a mistake that could seriously injure or kill a patient. It is also possible that care before or after a medical procedure can lead to injury or death. When such injury or death occurs in a medical facility or at the hands of a medical professional as the result of negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate in seeking justice for the unnecessary loss of a loved one.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

According to the Cook County Record, two Chicago-area medical facilities are facing such lawsuits. The first lawsuit alleges that the victim in question underwent surgery on June 17, 2014. The surgery in question allegedly caused several complications, one of which was an anastomotic leak, which the lawsuit alleges contributed to or caused the victim’s death. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, an anastomotic leak is a serious complication related to colorectal or intestinal surgery. If not properly diagnosed, these leaks can cause severe and possibly fatal complications. The article in the Cook County Record states that the plaintiff in the lawsuit against the medical center that performed the undisclosed procedure on the victim has alleged that the medical center and staff failed to properly evaluate the victim’s condition after surgery, and consequently failed to provide proper medical attention when symptoms of postoperative complications began to arise.
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Coming on the heels of two high profile settlements from the City of Chicago, the mayor’s administration has reached another potential settlement in the 2013 death of a 17-year-old. According to an article from the Chicago Tribune, this settlement proposal was reached less than two weeks before the scheduled trial on the incident, and still needs to be approved by the Chicago City Council.

The Situation

The incident that resulted in the fatal shooting began on January 7, 2013 around 1:30 p.m. when the victim and two friends beat and robbed a man inside the man’s car after negotiating whether or not they would purchase cell phone service from the man. After this, the victim left by himself in the man’s car. After observing the man’s car roll through a stop sign at Essex Avenue and 75th Street, police ran the vehicle’s license plates. The plates originally came back clean, presumably because the incident had not yet been reported. However, shortly thereafter, a call came over the police radio indicating that a carjacking had taken place and the vehicle that officers had seen roll through the stop sign had been involved. The police officers that had observed the vehicle rolling through the stop sign caught up with the vehicle and as soon as police officers stepped out of their vehicle, which was unmarked according to records, the 17-year-old left the stolen vehicle and police officers began pursuing him.

According to statements from the police officers, the 17-year-old had pointed an object that looked like a gun at one of the officers. However, that object later turned out to be a black cell phone box. As the 17-year-old fled from police officers on foot, one of the officers assumed a shooting stance on the sidewalk near where other people were also walking. After striking the 17-year-old in his side, a shot that pierced the victim’s heart and lodged in his spine, the 17-year-old rounded a corner and collapsed on the sidewalk. As officers caught up with the 17-year-old, he reportedly told officers, “I give up. I’m shot.” One of the officers cuffed the young man and placed a foot on his back while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

Initially, the officer who fired the fatal shot had remained on active duty until recently. The article indicates that the officer who fired the fatal shot has been suspended and is performing non-operational duties within the Chicago Police Department. The family’s attorney was unable to provide specific details as to the settlement itself because it has yet to be approved by the city, and a spokesperson for the city’s law department did not comment on the case.
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Epilepsy is a neurological disorder caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. The epileptic patient will exhibit recurring bouts of sensory disturbances, possible loss of consciousness and convulsions or spasms also known as seizures. For the most part, the cause of epilepsy in two out of three patients is unknown. Medical science has been able to diagnose the disorder but unless there is some medical condition that can be pointed to as having caused the disorder, healthcare providers continue to remain in the dark. With that said, however, those known causes can be diagnosed when an individual presents to his healthcare provider with epileptic symptoms, who previously had a healthy functioning brain, but has now developed recurrent seizures after suffering from some form of illness such as a brain tumor, stroke, or some type of head injury resulting in brain trauma.

Post-Traumatic Epilepsy vs. Post-Traumatic Seizures
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In 2010, a mother of five children was experiencing a sixth pregnancy, but this pregnancy came with an elevated risk level because the mother was 40. Feeling ill and complaining of shortness of breath, she went to a Chicago hospital where her doctor diagnosed her with pneumonia. Expecting the hospital visit to improve her condition, the mother didn’t realize the missteps of her caregivers during and after her admission. Unfortunately, those missteps resulted in the mother’s death as well as the death of her unborn child, according to a federal jury.

The Chicago Tribune article detailing the outcome of the lawsuit and the events leading up to it indicate that the victim’s doctor failed to admit the victim to intensive care after the pneumonia diagnosis. The victim had instead been placed in a regular room, and reported to a nurse that her condition was deteriorating. According to the article’s representation of the suit, the nurse in question attempted to contact the victim’s doctor twice. When both attempts were unsuccessful, the nurse allowed the victim to remain in the regular hospital room instead of having the victim transferred to the emergency room. Shortly thereafter, the victim was found unresponsive in her hospital room. Doctors attempted to revive the victim, but were unsuccessful. Doctors then performed an emergency cesarean section to try and save the baby, but the attempts were unsuccessful and the baby was pronounced dead after roughly 20 minutes were spent trying to revive him.

The Lawsuit and Verdict
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The name of any game is to win in a sportsmanlike manner. This applies to any sports whether it is baseball, football, hockey and lacrosse. Children’s involvement in any type of sports activity should always be prefaced with this admonition.

Take the game of lacrosse. It is a fast paced, highly competitive sport that is growing in popularity, in high schools and colleges across the nation. But like any sports activity, it is fraught with danger and risks of injury to its players. Injuries to the legs are common, as well as head injuries.

The rules of the game for lacrosse players are substantially different for boys and girls. Boy’s lacrosse is classified as a “contact” sport, meaning that because a higher level of player contact is allowed, the boys are required to wear protective gear including padding, facemasks, mouthguards and helmets. Girl’s lacrosse on the other hand is considered a “non-contact” sport, and although the players are not required to wear protective gear, there is still a risk of injury to the players.
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There is no more debilitating, life altering injury that can happen to an individual or to that individual’s loved one than a traumatic brain injury (TBI) severe enough to alter the emotional and physical makeup of the injured person. It is debilitating because the sufferer is left without any cognitive ability, any memory or the use of normal body functions, as well as the ability to communicate. It is life altering because, for the rest of their natural life, someone else will have to do everything for them. Every day in the life of an individual suffering from debilitating TBI is a day without sunshine, especially for his or her family members. The brain is at the center of everything we do, or everything we are capable of doing. TBI, if severe enough, will stop the brain from functioning at a level that will allow an individual to think and respond to his environment in a meaningful way.

A recent article posted in gives insight into some of the trials facing a family when a member of that family is suffering from some form of TBI. The mother of a young boy suffering from TBI as the result of being struck by a car while riding his bike gives an account of the suffering that her son, and her family has gone through for the last ten years after the accident. Her son was 13 years old at the time of his injury; he is now 23 years old. The family’s coping skills has allowed them to provide loving care for their invalid son, while keeping the family unit together, even so, the pain continues unabated.
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Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are serious and life transforming incidents. A brain injury can lead to brain damage or death. Some life threatening injuries, even though they do not end in death, may result in disabilities that inhibit the sufferer from performing the minimal tasks required for life sustaining functions.

Researchers have determined that certain sports activities are a major culprit when it comes to causing head injuries. Brain injuries are usually thought to occur mainly with such sports as football, soccer, boxing, rugby, skiing, etc., and any other contact sport. Surprisingly, however, equestrian sports have been found time and again to be one of the highest at risk sports for serious head injuries.
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Concussion type brain injuries is one of the leading causes of death and disability in children and adolescents between the ages from newborn up to four years of age, and from fifteen to nineteen. Concussion injuries are usually temporary if mild or moderate, and the child may recover completely from the effects within a few days but, however, multiple head injuries no matter how mild, can lead to lasting health related problems making a full recovery problematic, and can lead eventually to brain damage and long lasting disabilities. If your child receives a head injury, no matter how slight it may appear, there should be some concern. A healthcare provider should examine the child as soon as possible to make sure that the injury is not more serious that you may suspect.

Be Vigilant of Adolescent Contact Sports and Children Playground Head Injuries

A major contributor to brain injuries in adolescents appears to be contact sports, i.e., football, soccer, etc. Studies also show that one of the main contributors to brain injury in young children up to four years of age, is playground accidents and injuries. Who would have thought that playground monkey bars and swings would be a dangerous instrumentality for our children? We all remember playing on the monkey bars, it is as American as apple pie, but it is now presenting a health issue for our children. While these incidents may usually be mild, any concussion should not be taken lightly.
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Brain tissue that has been injured leading to brain damage cannot be repaired; however, the brain itself may be healed somewhat depending upon the severity of the injury and whether the sufferer received immediate medical attention after the injury.

Whether the head injury was as a result of a brain aneurysm leading to a stroke, a concussion type injury, criminal assaults leading to injury, auto accident or slip and falls, such injuries should never be taken lightly. Early medical treatment may increase the chances of the sufferer’s recovery.

The Brain is the Center of our Individual Universe
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Many of us believe that death of an individual is when the individual’s heart stops or when they stop breathing. However, life support systems can keep the heart and lungs working even after the brain cease to function. Life support systems are mechanical means used to pump the heart and breathe for the patient who cannot do so on his own. If the brain cannot support these systems after the machines are unplugged, than the individual may be considered “clinically” brain dead.

Clinical brain death is the irreversible loss of the brain functions that are necessary to sustain life. When asked what the purpose was for keeping a patient on life support who was medically determined to be clinically brain dead, physicians state that often it is done in order to allow family members time to say their last goodbyes to their loved one, or it may be for the purpose of providing enough time to allow family member to determine if any of the patient’s organs will be donated. See Plain Views for more information on this subject.
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