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Northwestern Memorial Hospital Ratings & Violations

Northwestern Memorial Hospital Northwestern Memorial Hospital is an 894-bed hospital providing care and services to the residents and visitors of Cook County, Illinois. The facility is located at:

251 E Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 926-2000

The local hospital provides diverse services to the community that include:

  • Emergency medical care
  • Cancer care
  • Vascular and heart care
  • Pain management
  • Surgical services
  • Infusion services
  • Pediatrics
  • Urology
  • Women's health
  • Palliative care
  • Wound care
  • Hospitalist services
  • Digestive health
  • Orthopedics
  • Neuroscience
  • Primary care
  • Imaging including CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds and x-rays
  • Occupational health
  • Laboratory services

Illinois State Designations

Currently, Northwestern Memorial Hospital maintains the following designations:

  • Perinatal III
  • Trauma Center Level I
  • Comprehensive Stroke Center
  • Magnet Recognition
  • Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics

Patient Safety

Both the State of Illinois and the federal government routinely monitor every medical center and hospital statewide to identify safety concerns involving patient health quickly. According to data supplied by the hospital to the Illinois Department of Health and other agencies, Northwestern Memorial Hospital reported the following medical errors that may be of concern to patients and their families.

Healthcare-Associated Infections

Central Line Associated Infections in the:

  • Level III Neonatal ICU (2018) with zero reported infections over 1958 central-line days

  • Adult Neurosurgical ICU (2018) with two reported infections over 1522 central-line days

  • Adult Surgical Cardiothoracic ICU (2018) with zero reported infections over 4234 central-line days

  • Adult Medical Cardiac ICU (2018) with three reported infections over 2194 central-line days

  • Adult Surgical ICU (2018) with three reported infections over 1927 central-line days

  • Adult Medical ICU (2018) with two reported infections over 3875 central-line days

Surgical Site Infections Associated with Total Knee Replacement Surgery (7/1/10 to 6/30/11) with four reported infections from 705 procedures

Healthcare Facility Onset Incident Rate of MRSA (2016) with seven reported infection cases of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus over 267,091 patient days

Healthcare Facility Onset Incident Rate of CDI (2016) with 184 reported infections of highly contagious Clostridium difficile over 222,582 patient days

Safety Concerns

  • Foreign Body Left During Procedure (10/1/10 to 9/30/11) 2 reported incidents

  • Postoperative Lung Embolism or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT clotting) (2015) 167 out of 11,229 patients. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), this statistic is significantly worse in the state average.

  • Accidental Puncture and Laceration (2015) 54 out of 30,046 patients

  • Iatrogenic Pneumothorax (healthcare-associated collapsed lung for 2015) 22 out of 28,173 patients. According to the IDPH, this statistic is significantly worse than the state average.

  • Postoperative Respiratory Failure (2015) 69 out of 6266 patients

  • Postoperative Hemorrhage or Hematoma (2015) 84 out of 10,364 patients. According to the IDPH, this statistic is significantly worse than the state average.

  • Pneumonia Patients Admitted to the Hospital within 30 days (between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2017) – 16% of all patients treated at the facility for pneumonia were readmitted to the facility 30 days after departure for retreatment. This statistical percentage is slightly lower than the national average (16.9%) and Illinois average (17.37%).

  • Pneumonia 30 Day Mortality Rate (between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2017) – 11.4 % of all patients treated for pneumonia at the facility died within 30 days. This statistical rate is substantially lower than the national average (15.9%) in Illinois average (15.98%).

  • Heart Failure Patients Readmitted to the Facility within 30 Days (between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2017) – 19.7 % of all patients treated for heart failure were readmitted to the facility within 30 days after discharge. This statistical rate is slightly lower than the national average (21.6%) an Illinois average (21.78%).

  • Heart Failure 30 Day Mortality Rate (between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2017) – 6.8% of all patients treated for heart failure at the facility died within 30 days. This statistical rate is nearly half the national average (11.9%) and Illinois average (11.67%).

  • Hip Fracture-Associated Risk-Adjusted Mortality Rate for 2015 – 2 patients out of 126 died because of a hip fracture. This statistical risk-adjusted rate of 15.41 per 1000 patients is substantially lower than the Illinois average of 24.98 per 1000.

  • Heart Attack Deaths Risk-Adjusted Mortality Rate for 2015 – 9 of 330 patients died of heart attacks at the facility. This risk-adjusted rate of 26.81 per 1000 patients is substantially lower than the Illinois average of 37.24 per 1000.

  • Stroke-Associated Risk-Adjusted Mortality Rate for 2015 – 33 of 674 patients died of a stroke at the hospital. This risk-adjusted rate of 33.21 per 1000 patients is nearly double the Illinois average of 61.56 per 1000 patients.

Maternal Safety and Utilization

  • Obstetric Trauma – Vaginal with Instrument (2015) 148 out of 683 patients. According to the IDPH, this statistic is significantly worse than the state average.

  • Birth Trauma (2015) 29 of 11,573 patients

  • Obstetric Trauma – Vaginal Delivery without Instrument (2015) 114 of 7965 patients

Medical Malpractice Claims Involving Northwestern Memorial Hospital

$2,500,000 Settlement; Illinois Failed Diagnosis Case

The circumstances which prompted this matter involved a man in his middle seventies. He was seventy-four to be precise. Prior to entering Northwestern Memorial, he was involved in an accident. The old man experienced cardiac arrest out of nowhere. He fell down and injured his head. Once at the hospital, staff conducted a CT-scan to see if there were any internal problems. Allegedly, the tests at that time showed signs of intracranial bleeding. However, doctors at the scene did not diagnose him for this problem. Instead, they gave him a prescription for heart symptoms and dismissed him. Eventually, the intracranial bleeding progresses and caused blood clotting. He died from these complications. He was survived by his family-a wife and four kids. They brought this action for negligence and wrongful death. They argued that a proper diagnosis would have given their loved one a better chance at survival and that the hospital was negligent in failing to give him that. Rather than mete out their points in trial, the facility opted to move into settlement negotiations. The family obtained $2.5 million in compensation directly from that hospital.

$1,000,000 Settlement; Illinois Surgical Error Claim

This cause of action centered on a very complicated surgical procedure. The patient was a woman in her early sixties. She needed back surgery. Doctors elected to perform a TLIF operation. In that procedure, surgeons attempt to fuse the spine and add stability to the spinal column. The general goal is to eliminate aggravation caused by nerves and discs. Here, doctors did not diagnose and fix complications during the operation. The woman experienced SSEP drop. They did not take out the products that were causing it or the bone that was impacting her vertebrae. As a result, she suffered extraordinary pain, foot drop, and disability. She needs assistance walking around by herself and felt other effects related to this surgical error. Also, the incident cost her upwards of $300,000 in medical bills to clean up the original mistakes. Unsurprisingly, the woman brought a claim against the hospital (Northwestern Memorial). She cited the clear error during the operation as evidence of its malpractice. Her complaint plead for compensation related to her damages including disability, long-term suffering, and health care bills. In a private agreement to end the matter, the facility gave her $1 million to settle. Amounts obtained from other parties including the attending physicians are not known.

$3,500,000 Settlement; Illinois Cancer Malpractice Claim

This legal matter was triggered by a sixty-one-year-old patient. He had a colonoscopy done at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Apparently, the attending physician spotted a troublesome nodule. While this initial diagnosis was a good start, the doctor did not do the proper follow-up work due for the circumstances. For example, there were no PSA tests, urology consult, or other exams performed. Nothing else was done for over one year after this original visit and consultation. At that point, the man had already developed prostate cancer. Lymph node complication had occurred as well. The man sued the hospital. He alleged the negligent examination and follow-up work reduced his chances of survival and caused other tangible and intangible harms to him. The facility filed a reply but subsequently moved to the end the matter. The man received $3.5 million directly from the hospital.

Chicago, Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If you suffered serious harm or injury while you were a patient at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, your injuries might be the result of medical negligence. The Medical Malpractice Attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC provide legal assistance to patients who have suffered injuries by mistakes in all medical settings.

Contact our attorneys today to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation to discuss the merits of your compensation claim. Our legal team accepts all personal injury case, wrongful death lawsuit, and medical malpractice claim through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement postpones the payment of legal services until after we have successfully resolved your case through a jury trial or negotiated an out of court settlement. All information you share with our law office remains confidential.


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