What is an Emergency Room Error?
The emergency room is usually the first place a person goes when they experience a sudden or dramatic change in health. While emergency rooms were once designed for accidents and other events that constituted true emergencies, these centers have begun to offer care to many different types of people for many different conditions. This has led to a dramatic increase in emergency department visits of the last 10 to 15 years. Over that time emergency room visits have increased approximately 40 percent.
The Accepted Standard of Care in Emergency Rooms
While most emergency room staff are highly trained and experienced, there are occasions when patients are provided substandard medical care. By law, emergency room workers are required to follow the same medical standards that others in the field are required to follow. Deviating from these standards can cause significant harm and injury to a person. To successfully argue a medical malpractice case in these situations, a person must establish that an emergency room worker breached the duty of care. Because emergency rooms are crowded, hectic places, mistakes must be particularly serious for a person to successfully argue that medical malpractice occurred. Emergency room cases are also complicated because employers are held liable under negligence law when their employees act negligently. If an emergency room worker, however, is considered an independent contractor, then it might be hard to hold the hospital liable for resulting injuries.
How Emergency Room Negligence can Occur
Misdiagnosis is the most common type of emergency room error and often occurs because medical staff does not perform a full examination of a patient prior to making a diagnosis. Failure to properly diagnose a patient, however, can result in that person facing very serious complications. Failure to diagnose a heart attack, pulmonary embolism, stroke, meningitis, bone fracture and brain bleeding can have a life-altering impact on a patient. Unqualified nurses or doctors, poor emergency room policies and procedures, language barriers, overworked or understaffed emergency room physicians and nurses working in overcrowded emergency room with too many patients all can result in a patient receiving the incorrect diagnosis, treatment or medication.
Some of the other common types of emergency room errors include:
- Anesthesia errors
- Contaminated blood transfusions
- Failure to order correct tests
- Failure to examine a patient quickly enough
- Improper discharge of a patient
- Medication errors
- Misinterpreting lab or X-Rays results
- Refusing patient care in an unfair manner
- Surgical errors
These errors can result in a patient experiencing serious harm or even death. If you have been impacted by one of these situations, you can create a strong medical malpractice case.
Discuss Your Situation with a Skilled Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been impacted by an injury that occurred due to medical malpractice in an emergency room, you should not hesitate to pursue a medical malpractice case. These cases are frequently complicated, which is why you should make sure to obtain the services of an attorney who has extensive experience in the field. At The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan, we have handled a variety of medical malpractice cases and know how to create the strongest legal strategy possible. During an initial legal consultation, we will discuss the various available options to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact our law office today for assistance.
We offer a free, no-obligation legal consultation to help you understand your rights and the value of your case.
Our Medical Malpractice trial lawyers assist clients throughout all of Massachusetts including, but not limited to, those in the following counties, cities and towns: Plymouth County, Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Hingham, Duxbury, Wareham, Abington, Rockland, Whitman, Hanson, Holbrook, Middleborough; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Westport, Dartmouth, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Lakeville, Norton; Cape Cod, Hyannis, Falmouth, Barnstable and the Greater Boston area including Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn, Revere, Dorchester, Roxbury.