doctors rushing a man on a gurney down the hall

Most patients receive prompt and effective medical diagnoses and care in our nation’s emergency rooms; however, there are concerns.  The American College of Emergency Physicians report that treatment delays may occur because of…

  • Triage, treating the most serious cases in priority order;
  • Keeping a patient in an emergency area until a hospital bed becomes available;
  • A shortage of on-call physicians;
  • Local large scale epidemics or disasters.

Motorcycle trauma

A motorcyclist who was in a serious accident was airlifted to a medical center, where he began vomiting heavily.  He died in the emergency room after physicians delayed ordering nurses to drain several liters of fluid from his stomach.  A wrongful death attorney was able to demonstrate that the patient died because physicians failed to resolve a fatal stomach-fluid buildup in a timely manner.  A jury awarded the family a significant award for their loss.