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Emergency Room Errors

Emergency Room ErrorsIt is estimated that nearly half of all medical malpractice related injuries are the result of emergency room errors.

When patients go to the emergency room, healthcare professionals often have to make quick decisions to mitigate injuries and save lives.  These quick decisions, along with the high-stress environment in the emergency room frequently lead to more injuries to patients.

Healthcare professionals working in the emergency room are given more flexibility in medical malpractice law than healthcare professionals who have more time to make important, complex decisions regarding the treatment of patients.  However, emergency room healthcare professionals can still be held legally liable for injuries if they do not act within the acceptable standards of the medical community.

If you believe you were injured as a result of an emergency room error, contact the lawyers at Abbott Law Group today to discuss your legal options.

Medical malpractice is when doctors, nurses, hospitals, or other healthcare professionals injure a patient by providing care that is below the acceptable standard of the medical community.  While administering treatment, healthcare professionals have a duty to patients to act within the acceptable standards of the medical community.  When this duty is breached, healthcare professionals can be held legally liable for the injuries that result to their patients.

Types of Emergency Room Errors

The fast-paced nature and high rate of patient turnover along with understaffing in the emergency room can create a variety of emergency room errors.  Common errors in hospital emergency rooms include:

  • Failure to fully evaluate a patient;
  • Failure to fully treat a patient;
  • Failure to respond and promptly treat a patient;
  • Failure to monitor a patient;
  • Delayed diagnosis;
  • Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis;
  • Failure to call in appropriate medical or surgical consults;
  • Premature discharge of a patient from the emergency room;
  • Failure to order appropriate diagnostic tests, like MRIs, X-rays, or blood work;
  • Failure to review test results in a timely manner;
  • Failure to monitor patients’ well-being in the waiting room of the emergency room;
  • Medication errors;
  • Surgical errors;
  • Delayed treatment.

These emergency room errors can result in long-term medical complications, compounded injuries, and death.

Diagnosis Error

One of the most common types of emergency room errors is diagnostic error.  Diagnostic errors occur when healthcare professionals either delay the diagnosis of a patient, which could be the result of understaffing, misdiagnose a patient, or completely fail to diagnose a patient.  Delayed diagnoses can mean losing precious time during which irreversible damage can occur.  Misdiagnoses frequently lead to the inappropriate treatment of patients, which often results in compounding injuries.  Failure to diagnose often results in a patient being sent home without treatment, and can easily result in death.  Medical conditions that are often involved in diagnostic errors include:

  • Heart attack;
  • Stroke;
  • Appendicitis;
  • Pancreatitis; and
  • Pulmonary embolism.

Medication Error

Medication error is another one of the most common types of emergency room errors. Medication error can result in worsening injuries or even death to patients. Some common medication errors include:

  • Administration of the wrong medication;
  • Administration to the wrong patient;
  • Incorrect dosage;
  • Inappropriate medication for patient’s condition;
  • Medication inappropriate for patient based on medical history; and
  • Administration of pain medication to patients who are intoxicated.

If you have experienced any of the listed emergency room errors, you may be legally entitled to compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. While successful legal action can help you secure compensation, it can also help send a strong message to healthcare professionals working in emergency rooms that preventable errors and substandard care will not go unpunished. An emergency room error lawyer with vast experience in medical malpractice issues can help evaluate the circumstances of your injury. The lawyers at Abbott Law Group have over thirty years of experience in the areas of personal injury and medical malpractice. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.