A recent Cook County case has held that a hospital has no responsibility to a patient for the negligence of a doctor on its staff where the fine-print consent form provided by the hospital stated that its physicians were not employees of the hospital. The patient had not read the form before signing it because, as he testified, he was in too much pain. In this case, the Appellate Court protected the hospital, even though its physicians negligently treated the patient, and allowing him to suffer a ruptured aneurysm because its consent form stated:  “I have been informed and understand that physicians providing services to me at Ingalls, such as my personal physician, Emergency Department and Urgent Aid physicians, radiologists, pathologists, anesthesiologists, on-call physicians, consulting physicians, surgeons, and allied health care providers working with those physicians are not employees, agents or apparent agents of Ingalls but are independent medical practitioners who have been permitted to use Ingalls’ facilities for the care and treatment of their patients. I further understand that each physician will bill me separately for their services.  Frezados v. Ingalls Memorial Hospital, 2013 IL App (1st) 121835 (June 5, 2013).

If you or a loved one has been injured by a doctor’s or hospital’s negligence, we may be able to help.

Please contact the attorneys of Lane Brown, LLC, or call us at 312-332-1400 to speak with us about your options. We can help. To learn more about Lane Brown, please visit our website at lanebrownlaw.com.


We found this video on a hospital website. We thought it was well done and will be adding it to our website. Considering that strokes kill almost 130,000 Americans a year (1 in every 19 deaths) and that strokes affect 795,000 people in the US every year….we thought it would be worthy of sharing. Not only will it be informative for the lay person, but it has a catchy tune.

If you or a family member suffers stroke-like symptoms….Remember to act FAST!

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries as a result of an improperly managed stroke, we may be able to help. Contact the attorneys at Lane Brown, LLC now.


Your parent or other loved one is admitted to a hospital or nursing home because they are ill, or have been injured. They are there because they need assistance or care that they can’t get in their home.  Unfortunately, many times patients in hospitals and nursing homes aren’t given the attention they need, and suffer injuries because of malpractice or negligence in their hospital or medical care.

Another common concern for hospitalized patients is posed by the risk of falls.  Patients are often disoriented, weak or sedated. Common issues associated with nurses and hospitals are falls due to the lack of the use of rails or supervision during transfers. An elderly confused patient, or a patient narcotized with pain medicine or sedatives, requires full length side rails up so they can’t fall out of bed.

Rails can be important aids in the protection of patients who may be combative, uncooperative or unstable patient. The failure to use rails appropriately may be the basis for a negligence claim.  If the nurses’ notes show they did not raise the side rails, or if witnesses establish that the rails were not raised, and the patient falls out of bed and injures himself, those injuries may have been the result of negligence on the part of the hospital and the nurses. Physicians may also be responsible if the doctor was aware that the patient needed the protections afforded by side rails, but failed to order that they be used.

Nurses have an independent duty to ensure the safety of their patients, so you should look to examine the conduct of all three potential causes for the injury: the nurse, the hospital and the doctor. Nurses are trained, and need to be able to determine for themselves whether or not their patients need side rails.  If they do, they can and must follow good nursing practice and hospital policy and raise the rails themselves, even without a doctor’s order. In fact, the question of when to use side rails is or should be indicated in the hospital rules of almost every hospital, as set forth by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH). If the hospital accepts elderly Medicare-insured patients, that hospital must be certified by the JCAH, and the JCAH states that with elderly, confused, or drugged patients, side rails must be used.

Were the Nurses Too Busy?

Sometimes, the nurses are just too busy to give their patients the care they need.  Consider whether there was an emergency that required their attention to other patients.  Maybe their unit was understaffed. Through the litigation process known as “discovery”, we can find this information, and obtain the “nursing orders” in effect for all the patients on that nursing unit (floor or ward) and their diagnoses. If the nursing unit was understaffed by a hospital looking to make higher profits from lower labor costs, it’s often easy to see why patients fail to receive the nursing and hospital care they need.

Stroke victims, their families and attorneys should be aware that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common disorder found after stroke or major traumas, and may play a significant role in impeding recovery. Frequently a consequence of acute life-threatening events, including acute coronary syndrome (ACS), cancer, and stroke, PTSD is estimated to affect up to 18% of stroke survivors.   PTSD has been shown to impair stoke victims’ reliable adherence to medication regimens, according to new research.

Investigators at Columbia University Medical Center in New York found that 65% of stroke survivors with PTSD failed to adhere to treatment vs 33% of their counterparts without PTSD. They also found that concerns about medications were a primary barrier to treatment adherence.
Stroke survivors should be assessed for concerns about medications and PTSD symptoms, so that interventions may be introduced as early as possible to get patients back on track to avoid future stroke events. The study was published online on January 7th in the British Journal of Health Psychology.

In survivors of strokes and transient ischaemic attacks…adherence to risk-reducing medications, including antiplatelet agents, antihypertensive agents, and statins, is especially important for preventing subsequent strokes.

Veterans and Medicare beneficiaries can now enjoy new access to their own medical information and other data. In August, President Obama announced the creation of the “Blue Button”—a web-based feature through which patients may easily download their health information and share it with health care providers, caregivers, and others they trust. Since then, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have beta-tested their respective systems—with great success. The Blue Button was formally launched today.

Veterans should log onto My HealtheVet at www.myhealth.va.gov and click the Blue Button can save or print information from their own health records. Medicare beneficiaries who are registered users of www.mymedicare.gov can log onto a secure site where they can save or print their Medicare claims and self-entered personal information with the Blue Button there. Data from of each site can be used to create portable medical histories that will facilitate dialog with Veterans’ and beneficiaries’ health care providers, caregivers, and other trusted individuals or entities.

The Blue Button option should help Veterans and Medicare beneficiaries save their information on individual computers and portable storage devices or print that information in hard copy. Having this ready access to personal health information from Medicare claims can help beneficiaries understand their medical history and work more easily and effectively with providers, as well as provide valuable assistance to their attorneys. The Blue Button feature will allow Medicare beneficiaries to view their claims and self-entered information—and be able to export that data onto their own computer. The information is downloaded as an “ASCII text file,” the easiest and simplest electronic text format. The files are easy to read by the individual, and helps organize a lot of information.

The My HealtheVet personal health record includes self-entered health data (including blood pressure, weight, and heart rate), emergency contact information, test results, family health history, military health history, and other health-related information. The ASCII text file that Veterans can download will include this information. As additional personal health information becomes available to VA patients through the My HealtheVet personal health record, this will also be added to the VA Blue Button download. In pre-launch testings, the VA’s Blue Button system has generated an overwhelmingly positive response, and many veterans have already used it to access their records.

For a long time, registered users of MyMedicare.gov have had the ability to view their Medicare claims information add their personal and health information, such as emergency contact information, names of pharmacies and providers, self-reported allergies, medical conditions, and prescription drugs. Now, with the Blue Button, CMS is making it convenient and safe for them to download and share this information in an easy-to-read and portable format. For people who are involved in personal injury or medical malpractice claims, the slow-moving administration of Medicare agencies has delayed their recoveries of settlement funds for months, and oftentimes, for more than a year!

The VA and CMS both stress the importance to users of protecting the electronic information on their personal computers with appropriate security measures. Once individuals download their data, they will need to ensure its safety—for example, by encryption or password protection.

The VA and CMS issued a challenge to software developers to develop apps to make the Blue Button even easier and more useful.  The winner of that challenge is Adobe’s Blue Button Health Assistant. This new “app” provides a comfortable and familiar user layout and eases the linkage of consumer information—including immunizations, allergies, medications, family health history, lab test results, and military service histories—among patients, providers, and caregivers using My HealtheVet, or claims data for those using the CMS Button.

Soon, Blue Button users may be able to augment the downloaded information that is housed on their computers—or that they transferred to a commercial personal health record or other health application—through automated connections to, and downloads from, major pharmacies including Walgreens and CVS; lab systems such as Quest and LabCorp; and an increasing number of inpatient and outpatient electronic medical records systems.




The FDA has issued a “Warning Letter”, dated January 10, 2013, to St. Jude Medical, a company that manufactures many medical devices used throughout the world, including implantable cardiac devices.  In the letter, St, Jude was advised that, during a 2012 inspection of St. Jude’s Sylmar, California facility, FDA investigators determined that St. Jude manufactured implantable cardiac leads which were “adulterated” under federal law, in that the methods used in, or the facilities or controls used for, their manufacture, packing, storage, or installation are not in conformity with the current good manufacturing practice requirements of the Quality System regulation found at Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 820. While St. Jude has responded to some of the concerns addressed by the investigators,the FDA has concluded that the responses were inadequate.

The FDA has asked St. Jude to provide written notice within fifteen business days from the date they received the warning letter of the specific steps St. Judey has taken to correct the noted violations, as well as an explanation of how the firm plans to prevent these violations, or similar violations, from occurring again.  They asked that St. Jude include documentation of the corrections and/or corrective actions (including any systemic corrective actions) that the firm has taken.  If St. Jude’s planned corrections and/or corrective actions will occur over time, they are to include a timetable for implementation of those activities.  If corrections and/or corrective actions cannot be completed within fifteen business days, St. Jude was asked to state the reason for the delay and the time within which these activities will be completed. Finally, the warning letter notes that St. Jude’s “response should be comprehensive and address all violations included in this Warning Letter.”  We’ll see…but it looks like the FDA is finally running out of patience with St. Jude.



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