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Illinois suit filed by patient who swallowed dental instrument

The "duty of care" individuals owe to one another is different from the "standard of care" physicians are required to provide for Illinois patients. Negligence is rooted in careless personal behavior that may or may not be intentional. Medical malpractice, like surgical errors or failure to diagnose correctly, is negligence at a professional level.

A Cook County dentist is named in a lawsuit that alleges both personal and medical negligence. The double count makes sense because doctors cannot disassociate human duty from professional care.

The plaintiff claims the dentist did not protect him from swallowing a metal dental instrument during an office procedure.

The patient visited Old Orchard Smiles in Skokie in November for a procedure to insert anchors for dental implants. The complaint said a dental driver fell down the patient's throat during the visit and became stuck in man's stomach.

The lawsuit doesn't explain how the dentist responded after the incident. A judge and jury could want to know whether the dentist acknowledged what happened, apologized or offered medical or financial assistance at the time.

The patient underwent a series of X-rays and tests prior to the dental driver's removal. Court papers said the plaintiff suffered throat and esophageal pain before and after the object was taken out of his stomach. Symptoms also listed included irritability and insomnia.

Damages sought were unspecific. The petition requested compensation over $50,000.

The liability case alleged the dentist had options to safeguard the patient from danger that she did not employ. The petition suggested the dentist could have secured the instrument by dental floss or used gauze to prevent slipping.

If you have suffered as a result of a medical professional's negligence, contact an Illinois personal injury attorney. These professionals can advise you of your options, including a possible civil action against those responsible for your injuries.

Source:  skokie.suntimes.com, "Suit: Skokie dentist dropped tool down man's throat" Luke Wilusz, Aug. 07, 2013

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