The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 129.8 million individuals visit emergency rooms each year. While many of these patients receive good medical care, some receive care that falls below the accepted standard. One of the main reasons why medical care often falls below accepted standards is that medical staff at emergency rooms are forced to provide care to a growing number of patients. If you or a loved one has been harmed by medical malpractice, it is often crucial to obtain the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney.
Common Emergency Room Errors
Some of the most common emergency room errors include:
- Care is delivered in a negligent way even though the patient is properly diagnosed.
- Delayed treatment, which occurs when emergency room patients are left unattended for a long period of time.
- Failure to diagnose.
- Failure to order correct tests.
- Improper discharge, which occurs when a patient is released too soon or without proper instructions.
- Lack of communication among medical staff.
- Lack of information about how to follow up with a condition.
- Medication errors, which occur when patients are administered the wrong medication or wrong dosage of the correct medication
- Misdiagnosis, which most often includes failure to diagnose a heart attack, a stroke, or any other life-threatening health event. 30% of all emergency room medical malpractice lawsuits involve misdiagnosis.
- Patient dumping, which occurs when medical providers do not properly treat a patient because that patient cannot provide proof of insurance.
- Test results are not communicated in a timely manner.
The Difference Between Emergency Room Standards
It is important to note that emergency rooms use a different standard of medical care than general practitioners or specialists. In many cases, an emergency room doctor will diagnose a patient and recommend that individual receive follow up care from another physician. The failure of an emergency room physician does not constitute medical malpractices if a specialist would have made a correct diagnosis but the emergency room doctor did not properly assess the patient.
Steps to Prevent Medical Malpractice
To avoid common emergency room mistakes, there are some important steps that a person should take, which include:
Contact an emergency medical professional by calling 911.
- Obtain the name of the medical professionals that treat you. It is important to understand this professional’s exact level of medical training so that you can understand whether you are obtaining the best care possible.
- With cases involving complicated medical conditions, contact your primary care physician as soon as you are arrive at the emergency room. A primary care physician knows how to best advocate for a person.
Speak to a New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been harmed due to errors that occurred in an emergency room, there are methods to pursue the compensation that you deserve. When emergency room errors occur, the legal counsel at Ferrara & Gable knows how to determine the strength of your medical malpractice claim.