Emergency Room Malpractice Attorney
The Emergency Room, or Emergency Department, is never a place you want to go. However, according to the CDC, ERs receive about 141.4 million visitors a year. Of those visitors, 40 million come in with injuries, 11.2 million are admitted into the hospital, and 1.8 million are admitted into critical care units. Due to the nature of ERs, they are often overcrowded, busy, and full of stressed medical personnel. Doctors and nurses are overwhelmed with patients and must accurately prioritize the people who need the most urgent care. This type of environment means that many things can easily go wrong and malpractice can occur.
However, proving an ER physician has committed malpractice is tougher than one might think. A higher level of negligence must be proven for emergency room cases than other areas of medicine, so having an experienced attorney on your side can be the key to recovering the compensation you deserve.
Medical Negligence In The ER
The chaotic nature of an emergency department does not excuse its staff from committing negligence. Anyone from the doctors and nurses to the EMTs and paramedics can be held liable for negligence. Due to the haphazard nature of the workplace, emergency room malpractice suits require proof of gross negligence as opposed to ordinary negligence. Common examples of gross negligence in the ER can include the following:
- Failure to treat cardiac arrest or stroke symptoms in the ER
- Failure to properly stabilize and transport patient in ambulance
- Failure to maintain an acceptable standard of care
- Failure to treat a patient due to wrong or no insurance
Examples of regular negligence can include:
- Failure to inform a patient of treatment options
- Failure to refer a patient to the necessary specialist
- Failure to provide a patient with proper monitoring
Common Emergency Room Errors
Errors in the ER can be caused by any number of things, such as lack of experience, inability to handle the fast-paced environment, being short-staffed, or simply negligence. Sometimes these errors can lead to serious injuries or even death. Examples include:
It is not uncommon in the ER setting for a doctor or nurse to make a quick diagnosis that is incorrect. A delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose are also possible. If you or a loved one has suffered because of a misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or lack of diagnosis, you may want to consider pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Improper medication or dosage
If a patient is given the wrong prescription or dosage, it can lead to serious illness, injury, or death. In fact, in the U.S., 1.5 million adverse drug events occur every year that could have been prevented. This type of malpractice can occur if a doctor prescribes the wrong medication or incorrect dose, or if the pharmacist fills the medication incorrectly.
When things go wrong with medical tests, it can have serious implications on the patient. If the ER doctor or nurse orders the wrong tests, misreads test results, or forgets to order the tests altogether, and it results in delayed treatment, no treatment, or improper treatment, you may have grounds for a medical lawsuit.
Delayed or failure to treat a condition
If an ER doctor or nurse fails to treat a patient with a medical condition that requires immediate care due to negligence or medical error, the patient or family may be entitled to compensation.
Lab, paperwork and other procedural mistakes
When running tests, filling out or reading paperwork, or performing other procedures, doctors and nurses may make errors that lead to dire consequences for the patient. These errors can result in misdiagnosis or improper treatment.
Contaminated or wrong blood-type transfusion
Blood transfusions are an incredibly valuable medical treatment that saves thousands of lives each year. While it is uncommon for there to be errors during transfusions, if contaminated blood or the wrong blood type is used, it can be fatal to the patient. These errors can happen at the time of transfusion if the wrong type of blood is ordered. They can also happen far before the transfusion if the blood is labeled incorrectly. Additionally, these errors can lead to immediate complications, or issues may arise months or years after the transfusion.
When To File An Emergency Room Malpractice Suit
Just because the ER made a mistake or didn’t live up to your expectations, doesn’t necessarily mean you have grounds to file a malpractice claim. In order to meet the higher standards for emergency room malpractice, you must first meet three conditions. The emergency department can only be held liable if a doctor-patient relationship existed, their treatment involved negligence and the patient was harmed by that negligence. These cases can be tricky and require the assistance of a knowledgeable malpractice firm.
How Jackel & Phillips Can Help
Due to their nature and the complex body of rules that surround them, emergency room malpractice cases can be lengthy, complicated and involve intricate medical questions. That is why it is important to get the advice or representation from an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice. The attorneys at Jackel & Phillips are trained and experienced in handling complex medical malpractice cases with proven, positive results. If you have questions about emergency room errors, or are looking for representation, call the attorneys at Jackel & Phillips for a free consultation. We would be happy to walk you through the complicated process of assessing your potential case.
At Jackel & Phillips, we have the experience, knowledge and compassion you need for the results you deserve