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Illinois Physician and Medical Malpractice Records Will Soon be Public Record

The Illinois Patients’ Right to Know Act is awaiting Governor Quinn’s signature. Once enacted, the Act will allow individuals to search a licensed doctor’s history, including if the doctor has been criminally convicted, fired, or had made a medical malpractice payment in the last five years. This is good news for patients, says the consumer advocate group Public Citizen.

In March, Public Citizen published a study revealing that healthcare professionals had some serious violations without having their license revoked. In Illinois, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Montana, Texas, Florida, and Georgia, 60 to 69 percent of physicians with clinical privilege sanction reports had “no state licensure action.” Public Citizen reported that many violations involve doctors who have been practicing for years in Illinois. And, just because a doctor has a clean record in Illinois does not mean he or she has never been sanctioned. Frequently, doctors who have been sanctioned in other states move to Illinois because it does not request out-of-state records to verify a physician’s past history.

Without state medical boards or watchdog groups policing these doctors, the public is put at risk. The Illinois Patients’ Right to Know Act will let the public research a doctor prior to selecting a family physician or specialist. The Chicago Tribune has been reporting all year long that Illinois has been grappling with how to discipline doctors. Their reports have “shown how regulators can be slow to respond to doctors accused of sex crimes – even those who have been convicted – and that some dangerous doctors continue to practice without supervision.”

The most egregious case Public Citizen found in Illinois involves physician #12405. This doctor was permanently denied privileges and had 10 medical malpractice reports from 1992 to 2006, costing a total of $7 million. Despite this these reports, no licensure action was taken. The physician had “four cases of improper management in obstetrics, one case of improper surgery performance, one case of failure to diagnose in obstetrics, one case of failure to identify fetal distress, one case of failure to order an appropriate obstetric test, one patient suffered a major permanent injury, and one patient became a quadriplegic due to a brain injury.”

Healthcare professionals have a duty to care for their patients and safeguard them from further harm. When a patient’s rights and health have been compromised or neglected, they should immediately contact a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer to hold the physician accountable. Chicago medical malpractice attorney Robert I. Briskman, Esq. is skilled in helping individuals and families who have been hurt by the negligence of medical professionals. The law firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg has decades of experience upholding a client’s rights to fair compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other costs associated with medical malpractice.

Robert I. Briskman is a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer and Chicago medical malpractice attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
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Alert: Antiepileptic Drugs Shown to Increase Birth Injuries

Women who have a history of epilepsy are frequently prescribed the anti-seizure medicine Topamax or Depakote. In pregnant women, seizures are particularly dangerous, as they can restrict oxygen to the fetus. For years, these antiepileptic drugs have been deemed safe to prescribe to pregnant women. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently raised some causes for concern with these drugs.

In the spring, the FDA decided to reclassify Topamax as a pregnancy Category D drug because it now has evidence that it can cause problems to the fetus. Research by the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry showed that women who took the drug during the first trimester were four times more likely to have a child with an oral cleft. A cleft can deform the child’s mouth and affect eating, talking, their appearance, and can even cause more ear infections. Corrective surgery is required within the infant’s first year to prevent these complications from occurring.

Last year, the FDA reported that Depakote could have more serious side effects for children of mothers who used it during the first trimester. The most serious side effect was spina bifida, but urinary problems, holes in the heart, abnormal skull formation, malformed limbs, and cleft palates also occurred.

Motherisk, an information and counseling center for expectant mothers, reports that the risk of these complications is dose dependent. Risks from these antiepileptic drugs “begin increasing at doses of 600 mg/d and become more prominent at doses above 1000 mg/d.” More importantly, many expectant moms only discover they are pregnant after the first critical weeks of the first trimester, when damage to the fetus may have already occurred.

The FDA advises that pregnant women should consult their doctor immediately. For many women, the drug is necessary for her and the child’s safety. The FDA recommends that if a woman needs to stay on the antiepileptic medicine, the lowest dose possible for seizure control is best.

When healthcare professionals or drug manufacturers fail to adequately warn women about the dangers of taking these and other potentially dangerous drugs, they have a right to pursue legal action and monetary compensation for their child’s past, current, and future medical concerns.

In Illinois, Chicago birth injury lawyer Robert I. Briskman has decades of experience suing medical practices and product manufacturers who did not have the best interests of their patients at heart. As a Chicago birth injury attorney, he has handled many different types of birth injuries and will tirelessly work to get you the care that you and your baby deserve. The law firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg works on a contingency basis, so there is no payment unless they are successful in getting your child compensation.

Robert I. Briskman is a Chicago birth injury lawyer and Chicago birth injury attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

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The Chicago Illinois personal injury law firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg represents injured people throughout Illinois, including Chicago, the Chicagoland area, Joliet, Waukegan, Cicero, Evanston, Arlington Heights, Wheaton, Bolingbrook, and Naperville, as well as other cities within Cook County, Will County, DuPage County, Lake County and McHenry County.
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