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Lawsuit alleges hospital caused man's brain damage

A hospital in Illinois is facing a personal injury lawsuit after a man suffered a brain injury while in its care. The complaint, filed by the injured patient's wife on Dec. 12, claims that the staff at Alton Memorial Hospital failed to properly monitor her husband's vital signs. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are seeking compensatory damages for the man's brain injury as well as other costs.

The patient in this case was admitted to the defendant hospital on Jan. 1, 2013. At the time, he had a fistula and a bowel obstruction. During his stay at the hospital, the patient was on oxygen. On Jan. 17, 2013, the patient was treated with Dilaudid that he was administered through a PCA pump. When the patient was eventually discharged from the hospital, he was diagnosed with brain damage that the plaintiffs say was caused by the Dilaudid treatment.

According to the claim, the patient began deteriorating around the time that he was given the Dilaudid. On Jan. 18, 2013, he was weak, confused and drowsy. His wife claims that he was disoriented and speaking in a garbled manner. As a result of his altered mental state, the man was transferred to the hospital's intensive care unit. Following his discharge from the hospital, he has had to live in a nursing home where he receives full-time care.

A person who has had a similar outcome after a hospital stay will likely incur medical costs and lose the ability to earn income. An injured patient may also experience pain and a loss of enjoyment of life. To seek financial compensation for these damages, the injured patient may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit with the assistance of an attorney.

Source: The Madison-St. Clair Record, "Alton Memorial denies liability in medical malpractice lawsuit involving brain-damaged patient," Heather Isringhausen Gvillo, March 23, 2015

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Q: What is medical malpractice?

A: Medical malpractice is negligence committed by a professional health care provider, such as a doctor, nurse, dentist, technician, hospital worker or hospital, whose treatment of a patient departs from a standard of care met by those with similar training and experience, resulting in harm to a patient...

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