Emergency rooms are places of pain, stress, and confusion, but visitors trust that the staff and administration to provide high quality emergency care. As a patient in the ER, you look to the staff for expert medical assistance, for help and healing measures. Unfortunately, emergency room doctors and nurses don’t always choose correctly when it comes to quick treatment decisions and often fail to provide adequate care. Human error happens more often than you might expect in the ER, causing untold pain and suffering and millions of dollars of physical injury to patients on an annual basis.
Causes of Emergency Room Errors
Sometimes it is a small detail, like a medication allergy, that is overlooked. In other cases, the ER nurse or physician might make a bad call due to fatigue or carelessness. Other reasons for emergency room errors include outdated or defective diagnostic equipment, failure to sterilize instruments, poorly trained staff, understaffing, lack of communication between staff members, or even failure to review medical history. For many patients who come to the ER searching for relief, the results are devastating and even fatal. Emergency room errors that may be considered malpractice include:
- Wrong diagnosis
- Delayed treatment
- Ignoring underlying illness
- Failure to monitor
- Lab errors
- Medication errors
- Emergency surgery on the wrong site
- Contaminated blood transfusions
- Misread test results or X-rays
- Legal Remedies for ER Malpractice
A highly skilled medical malpractice lawyer can help your family investigate suspicions of ER negligence. If inaction or inappropriate action is discovered to be the cause of a patient’s severe injuries, the medical professional responsible for the negligent action may be subject to license review and held financially accountable. If a particular physician or medical professional is discovered to be unqualified, the hospital may be held accountable for poor hiring protocol. Injured victims of ER negligence may be able to collect compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other consequences of negligence.
Family members of patients who did not make it out of the emergency room alive may be able to bring a claim against the ER physician and the hospital for failing to provide life-saving treatment. Talk to an experienced medical malpractice attorney for more information on your rights and possible compensation.