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County board votes to settle medical malpractice case over botched surgery

CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County’s board of commissioners have voted for a nearly $4 million settlement of a malpractice lawsuit filed after an alleged botched heart surgery at Chicago’s Stroger Hospital.

Lawyers for Jaime Flores alleged Stroger physicians made a “very unfortunate and grossly improper decision” to perform a bedside pericardiocentesis on Flores in 2013.

The lawyers argued removing fluid from the sac around the heart is typically done in a cardiac catherization laboratory, not bedside. They claimed Flores suffered a brain injury as a result.

Cook County Health and Hospitals System CEO John Jay Shannon said Wednesday the settlement is not an admission of malpractice or wrongdoing, but wouldn’t comment on the specifics.

Shannon says the health system reviews all cases when a patient has “a significant negative outcome.” He added that it is the same good practice that any health system would do.

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