Emergency Room Errors
One of the busiest and most fast-paced environments in the healthcare field is the hospital emergency room. The high volume of patients in critical condition, especially if combined with staffing shortages, can lead to medical errors. Emergency medical care affects a large number of people. Each year in the United States over 100 million people visit the emergency room.
Visits to the emergency room are usually not planned. Patients normally do not have the opportunity to screen and evaluate emergency room physicians before consenting to the medical care they need. Since it is an emergent situation, receiving medical care is the top priority. Decisions made and actions taken by the staff in an emergency room can mean the difference between saving a life and causing long-term injury or death. One mistake can have catastrophic consequences.
Emergency Room Errors Include
- Failure to recognize a Heart Attack
- Failure to recognize an Acute Stroke
- Failure to timely identify and treat Acute Appendicitis
- Failure to order necessary tests
- Failure to properly interpret results
Emergency room errors occur for many reasons. Poorly trained medical professionals, including doctors and nurses, understaffed hospital facilities, poorly equipped emergency rooms and/or poor communications may lead to severe, often fatal emergency room errors.
Quick and specific treatment is often essential for a patient in a hospital emergency room. Depending on the condition, an emergency room physician may be required to call in or refer the patient immediately to a specialist. With the nature of emergencies, time is of the utmost concern.
Other Common Emergency Room Errors
- Failure to fully evaluate or treat a patient’s condition
- Late or incorrect diagnosis
- Faulty laboratory tests/Incorrect interpretation of lab tests
- Incorrect medication or incorrect dosage
- Failure to properly monitor a patient
According to an article published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), over 225,000 people die each year due to medical malpractice. This has become the third leading cause of death in the United States, after deaths related to heart disease and cancer.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of an emergency room error, contact Brett H. Oppenheimer. Brett and his Kentucky ER error lawyer team in Louisville are available to evaluate your concerns and answer your questions. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.
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