A trip to the emergency room is grueling- the wait, the forms, the discomfort. While it’s understandable how overcrowded, understaffed, and busy ERs make errors, mistakes that result in serious injury or death are never excusable.
Here are the most common errors:
Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
The most common error in the ER is when a physician misdiagnoses or fails to diagnose a condition. An overlooked diagnosis, such as cancer- for which early detection gives the best hope of successful treatment can be deadly.
When communication is rushed, labs are full, and physicians and nurses are stressed, mistakes happen. Test results and images may be mislabeled, mixed up, incorrectly processed, or lost.
The wrong drugs can be given to a patient because of illegible handwriting, poor communication, or human error.
The Emergency Medical Treatment and active Labor Act prevents hospitals that accept Medicare payments from “dumping” patients- for financial reasons- who need emergency care. This includes leaving patients who have no insurance waiting during an emergency or delaying emergency treatment.
In the emergency environment, delaying treatment- even for a minute- can have life-threatening consequences. Any of the above mistakes can result in delayed treatment.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of a trip to the hospital, please contact our office to learn more about your legal rights.