Emergency rooms are hectic places where medical personnel are under great pressure to screen and treat people with a wide variety of illnesses. Healthcare professionals who rush through an examination could miss opportunities for treatment or aggravate existing conditions.
Despite the fast pace, people in need of emergency room attention are still entitled to the highest standard of care when having their medical conditions diagnosed and treated.
The laws of medical malpractice are complex and confusing—it can be difficult to figure out exactly what your rights are. At the Mann Law Firm, we have more than 50 years of experience with medical malpractice lawsuits involving emergency room errors. Because each case has its own unique set of circumstances, we invite anyone who has been the victim of a medical error to contact us to schedule a free case consultation. We can be reached at (478) 742-3381 in Macon, Dublin, Warner Robins or Milledgeville, or through our online form.
Why do mistakes happen in emergency rooms?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there are approximately 136.1 million emergency room visits in the U.S. every year. Upon arrival in an emergency room, a person typically undergoes a brief sorting interview (known as “triage”) to help determine the nature and severity of the illness. This sorting is intended to ensure that the people with the most serious illnesses are seen by a medical professional sooner than those with less severe symptoms. After assessment, people are either admitted to the hospital, transferred to another hospital, or discharged. Those who are admitted are assigned a chief complaint until the attending physician can make a diagnosis.
Unfortunately, emergency rooms are the site of numerous medical errors each year — errors that may result in injury, worsening of an existing medical condition, or death. The nationwide number of ERs is on the decline and the overcrowding that results often leads to a reduction in the quality and promptness of treatment.
The high stress environment of emergency rooms makes it much more likely that mistakes will occur. Of course, that is no excuse for substandard care.
What can go wrong in the ER?
Common emergency room errors include:
- Contaminated blood transfusions
- Delayed diagnosis
- Delayed treatment
- Failure to diagnose
- Failure to fully evaluate a patient
- Failure to fully treat a patient
- Failure to monitor a patient
- Laboratory errors
- Medication/prescription errors
- Mismanagement of medical tests
- Surgical errors.
- Anesthesia Errors
It is important to note that death or serious illness during or following an emergency room visit does not always indicate that a mistake was made. Some visits to the emergency room will be unsuccessful, even with good care. However, injuries that result from poorly trained medical personnel, understaffed hospitals, or ill-equipped emergency rooms may form the basis for a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. The Georgia medical malpractice attorneys of the Mann Law Firm helps patients pursue compensation for their injuries, which can cover present and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In the case of a wrongful death, damages may also include financial compensation to the victim’s family.
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