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Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers know all too well that doctors and medical professionals sometimes make mistakes. It is still surprising to hear that “as often as 40 times a week in the United States, patients come out of surgery to learn that their doctor operated on the wrong body part, did the wrong procedure or mixed them up with another patient,” as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times this week.

These mistakes, often referred to as “wrong-site surgeries”, continue to occur in spite of a universal protocol aimed at preventing them which took effect almost ten years ago. The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare issued the protocol, which includes taking simple precautions to make sure the correct patient is receiving the correct medical procedure. The precautions include marking the surgical site prior to the procedure and taking time prior to the first incision to verify the patient and procedure information.

The specific incidences of wrong-site surgeries in Illinois hospitals contributing to Illinois medical malpractice is unknown, because they are not reported by the state health department. Local Illinois malpractice lawsuits filed by Chicago medical malpractice attorneys include allegations of surgeons at two hospitals who operated on the wrong side of a patient’s brain and a situation where reconstructive surgery was performed on the wrong knee in 2008.

While the Joint Commission protocol was successful in lowering the number of “wrong-site surgeries,” preliminary results from the Commission’s recent project indicate that there are still 29 areas that leave room for error, making the risk for wrong-site surgeries more likely. A few examples include:

  • Inaccurate or incomplete documentation on the patient
  • Distractions in the operating room
  • Lack of full participation in the timeout
  • Using unapproved pen, which washes off prior to procedure

Many of the local hospitals contacted by the Sun-Times indicated that they do follow the Joint Commission’s protocol to avoid wrong-site surgeries. Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers recommend not only following the recommended protocol but also enacting additional standards as necessary, as Loyola University Medical Center has done.

Additionally, if you or a loved one have been a victim Illinois medical malpractice, it is important that you speak with a Chicago medical malpractice attorney right away. Our team has experience dealing with wrong-site surgeries and other types of Illinois medical malpractice.

Firm Awards & Recognitions

Steven Malman was selected to the list. The list is issued by the American Institute of Legal Counsel. A description of the selection methodology can be found at

  • Steven Malman was selected to the list. The list is issued by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys. A description of the selection methodology can be found at

  • Steven Malman was selected to the list for 2018-2019.

  • Only the top 100 trial lawyers from each state or highly-populated regions of certain states who are actively practicing in civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense law are eligible for invitation. Invitees must demonstrate superior qualifications, leadership skills, and trial results as a legal professional. The selection process for this elite honor is based on a multi-phase process based upon objective and uniformly applied criteria which includes peer nominations combined with third party research.

    Prospective members of The NTL are carefully screened prior to receiving an invitation for membership.

  • Top Attorneys Diamond Member

  • Top Attorneys of North America 2019-2020

  • The American Institute of Trial Lawyers is an invitation only professional organization composed of premier trial attorneys from each state. These attorneys exemplify the very best qualities and qualifications of an attorney. Each attorney must meet stringent qualifications as a civil or criminal trial attorney. These attorneys practice in a variety of fields to help and promote the ethical and elite practice of law. Selection is based on a thorough multi phase process which includes peer nominations and third party research. Each member must be in good standing with their local compliance organization. Membership is extended to only a select few in each state and/or region.

  • As the founder of Steven J. Malman and Associates, P.C., Attorney Steven Malman has 21 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, premises liability, construction and workers’ compensation cases. Mr. Malman is one of Chicago’s leading authorities on personal injury law and has taken a special interest in defending the elderly from neglect and abuse. He has personally handled over 10,000 cases successfully, and collected hundreds of millions dollars for his clients.

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