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    Emergency Room Errors and Medical Malpractice

    Emergency Room
    Approximately 136.9 million Americans visit the emergency room in the United States each year. Most patients are seen by competent, steadfast doctors who provide the best possible care. Unfortunately, there are patients who suffer from the negligence of a healthcare employee or the hospital, leading to a serious illness, injury, or even death.

    If you've recently been injured or became ill after visiting an emergency room, here is some valuable information, including tips on how to file a lawsuit.

    Reasons Why Emergency Room Errors Occur

    A 2014 study found that the average patient waits around 30 minutes to see a doctor and approximately 90 minutes to receive treatment.

    Emergency room patients are seen according to the severity of their conditions, with life-threatening injuries being top priority. A combination of understaffed emergency rooms and overcrowded waiting room and treatment areas can lead to oversights and medical negligence.

    Unfortunately, patients with non-emergent conditions visit the emergency room because of convenience or they do not have health insurance and cannot be turned away from the emergency room. This contributes to overcrowding and emergency room errors.

    Common Emergency Room Errors

    The neglect of patients due to overcrowding, long wait times, and negligent medical staff leads to several errors, including:
    • Misdiagnosis. Providing an improper diagnosis doesn't allow patients to seek treatment for an ailment they actually have, or they suffer through needless treatments.
    • Delayed diagnosis. Patients who enter an emergency room with a serious condition are sometimes left to wait several minutes or hours. This wait can lead to a worsening of symptoms.
    • Failure to diagnose. Patients who are pushed through an overcrowded emergency room are sometimes not given enough time with doctors who would successfully diagnose their condition under better circumstances.
    • Problems with informed consent. Healthcare professionals have a duty to inform patients of a treatment or procedure before performing it. During emergent situations, this doesn't always occur because the patient is unconscious, or no family member is there to give consent.
    The above-mentioned errors and others can lead to several other injuries, including a heart attack, aneurysm, stroke, pulmonary embolism, and several other conditions that are avoidable if doctors provide a reasonable standard of care.

    How to Get the Compensation You Deserve

    Emergency room personnel must provide a reasonable level of care. The hectic conditions of an emergency room make maintaining that level of care difficult. However, if an injury occurs due to the negligence of a healthcare provider, they or the hospital are potentially liable for the patient's pain, suffering, lost wages, and medical bills.

    Hiring an experienced medical malpractice attorney is the best way to prove the hospital's negligence. Your attorney will prove your doctor, or the hospital was negligent by first establishing you were a patient in the emergency room.

    Next, your attorney must establish there was a duty of care because you were a patient and the hospital breached this duty of care. For example, if a patient is left in an emergency room waiting area for an unreasonable amount of time and has a heart attack after exhibiting the early symptoms of this condition, an attorney could argue the healthcare staff or hospital breached their duty of care.

    Finally, the attorney will prove this negligent breach led to a serious illness or injury. Testimonies of healthcare professionals, experts in the field, other patients, and the patient's family members are used to strengthen your case.

    Under the doctrine of respondent superior, some patients can file a lawsuit against the hospital as well as their physician. Healthcare professionals are employees of the hospital and are representing them and acting on their behalf, which in some cases makes them legally responsible for a patient's injury.

    If you or a loved one was injured due to negligence of an emergency room healthcare provider, you may have a case. Contact the professionals at The Law Offices of Anthony M. Malizia with all your questions.