Emergency Room Errors: Why You Need to Check Your Hospitals
Just the name itself tells you a lot about what happens in this active, hectic part of a hospital: Emergency Room.
Patients arriving unexpectedly with medical conditions of varying degrees of seriousness; a lack of medical records or background information about those patients; prioritizing treatment of patients in an overcrowded or understaffed facility – all of these factors and more make hospital emergency rooms particularly vulnerable to medical errors.
But just because hard-working doctors, nurses, and staff are providing treatment in a high-pressure environment does not mean that they shouldn’t have to follow the appropriate standards of care for proper emergency room treatment.
When an ER patient is injured or passes away because of treatment which falls below that standard of care, it can form the basis of a medical malpractice claim.
There are 136.1 million emergency room visits in the U.S. every year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the number of annual visits keeps rising. At the same time, the number of ER’s in the U.S. has declined.
More patients in need of urgent care and fewer places for them to go with fewer doctors to treat them makes an already challenging situation even more so.
That is just one reason that ER treatment is the basis of more medical malpractice claims than treatment in almost any other hospital department.
Some of the most common ER errors that lead to malpractice claims include:
- Medication errors
- Misjudgment of symptoms
- Failure to properly triage (prioritize patients for treatment based on the
- seriousness of their condition)
- Delayed diagnosis
- Improper diagnosis by medical staff other than a doctor
- Unordered or incorrectly interpreted tests
- Poor communications
- Failure to monitor patient symptoms
- Infection caused by improper cleaning, maintenance, or use of
- Instruments or equipment
The very nature of an emergency means that patients often have little choice as to what hospital they will go to for treatment. Either paramedics or first-responders will make that choice, or the urgency of the situation means that the closest ER is the only choice.
But knowing where ERs are in your area and what their reputations are before an emergency arises can allow you to have more options when you need them.
You can ask your physician about his or her opinion of local emergency rooms and can research a hospital’s reputation online.
Contact a Washington DC Emergency Room Errors Attorneys Today
When the doctors, nurses, and staff in a hospital emergency room fail to meet the appropriate standard of care and a patient suffers adverse health consequences or dies as a result, the Washington, D.C. emergency room error attorneys at LawMD can help.
Our lawyers, a number of whom are also licensed physicians, are committed to the well-being of our clients and fight tirelessly to get them the highest amount of compensation possible.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of a suspected emergency room error, please give us a call at (888) 695-2963 to set up your free consultation or contact us online. We look forward to assisting you.