When COVID-19 cases peaked, Chicago hospitals rushed to adapt. Without their quick actions and commitment to care, the terrible situation we were in could have been even worse. It is fair to say that healthcare workers are the heroes of the pandemic. But it is also fair to hold healthcare workers and providers accountable for lapses in care and mistakes they made that caused injury to other patients when everyone was focused on the coronavirus.
As the pandemic has progressed we have learned more about how it spreads, how the infection impacts the body, and how to treat COVID patients. In response, hospitals and other healthcare providers have changed everything from how they do patient intake to how patient rooms are designed in an effort to stop the spread and heal the sick.
While it was necessary to make certain changes and take drastic actions in order to address the pandemic head-on, in some cases too many resources were diverted away from non-COVID patients.
- Even seriously ill people were urged to stay home to flatten the curve and stop the spread. Delaying medical treatment, and in some cases, even life-saving surgeries had many negative impacts.
- Short staffing put some patients in dangerous situations when they were unable to get needed medical assistance. This occurred in hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes.
- Inattention to detail meant some patients were given the wrong medications or otherwise treated improperly.
- In some instances, staffing levels were adequate, but the staff on duty were inexperienced or ill-equipped to treat the patients in their care. Students, retired professionals, and workers from other states filled gaps, but perhaps not as well as they should have.
In the future, there will likely be some sort of legislation limiting the liability of medical professionals and their employers during the pandemic. We may need to reevaluate things at that time, but at this point, Chicago-area patients who suffered an injury or illness due to the reckless or negligent action (or inaction) of a healthcare provider during the pandemic should not hesitate to seek compensation by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Patients only have a short window of time to come forward and seek compensation for their injuries. If you believe you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice, the sooner you can speak to an attorney about your case the better.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are not meant to punish healthcare workers. They are merely a tool that can be used to hold people and organizations accountable for the mistakes they make. The victims in these cases are not seeking an unfair windfall, but the money they need to move forward with their lives.
The Stein & Shulman team has worked with countless other attorneys to hold medical providers accountable for their mistakes. We appreciate the balance that must be struck between respecting the work that healthcare professionals do, and holding them accountable when their reckless or negligent actions (or inaction) cause harm. If you or a loved one believes you have suffered due to medical malpractice, we and our network of attorneys are here to help. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.