Emergency Room Errors

An emergency room may be busy, teeming with people and staffed by overworked hospital employees. Emergency room errors, also called ER errors, generally occur when a nurse, doctor or resident misdiagnoses or fails to diagnose a medical condition for what it actually is. In some situations, this may cause no lasting damage to a patient. In other cases, a person could lose his or her life due to an emergency room error.

For example, a man goes to the emergency room complaining of severe chest pains. If not thoroughly examined within a reasonable period of time, this man may never know that he is suffering the early signs of a heart attack - until it is too late.

When Medical Malpractice Occurs in the Emergency Room

Emergency room personnel have a tough job. They need to staff a busy area of the hospital where numerous people may be suffering from various injuries or illnesses. They must quickly and accurately assess each patient's condition in order to determine which ones need immediate attention and which ones can wait. This can be particularly difficult when a patient is in extreme pain but is not suffering from a life-threatening injury, versus a patient who is in real danger but is remaining fairly quiet.

When a patient arrives in the ER, a triage nurse will need to assess the patient's condition to determine what priority he or she should receive. Low priority patients may end up waiting for hours in the emergency room until they are finally seen by a doctor and admitted to the hospital. When an ER patient is seen by a doctor, the doctor will need to accurately diagnose the patient's injury or illness to determine what treatment should be administered. Depending on the doctor's diagnosis, the patient may be admitted to the hospital.

Given an ER's hectic atmosphere, it is no wonder that mistakes sometimes occur. A triage nurse may incorrectly prioritize a patient, making a patient with a life-threatening injury wait until it's too late for treatment to make any real difference. An ER doctor, hurrying through an exam, may incorrectly diagnose a patient's condition and recommend the wrong treatment, make a medication error or even discharge a patient who is in serious trouble. The possibilities are endless.

Taking Legal Action: Emergency Room Malpractice

If you or someone you love was the victim of carelessness or negligence in an emergency room, you may be able to seek justice against the responsible doctor or nurse or possibly against the hospital. A medical malpractice lawyer can help you determine how to approach your case.

Find a medical malpractice attorneyin your area who can help with an ER malpractice claim.