Experiencing a medical emergency can be extremely scary and stressful. When an unexpected injury or medical scare occurs, you anticipate quality treatment once arriving at your local hospital emergency room. While great care is often provided, accidents and negligence can still occur by staff and caretakers.
During life-threatening emergency situations when every second counts, there is very little room for human error. You need effective and thorough care to find a solution to your medical problem. The most common types of emergency room errors occur in various ways.
Failure to Communicate
A hospital emergency room can become chaotic and stressful. Staff in the ER are juggling many patients with varying situations which can lead to less time to adequately listen to and assess your medical situation. No matter how hectic the emergency room may get, this does not excuse the failure to dedicate time to evaluate your situation and address your specific medical issues in a timely and appropriate manner.
If an emergency room professional is rushed and/or fails to thoroughly listen and document a patient’s history or symptoms, a potential misdiagnosis may occur. Furthermore, individuals could fail to document specific medications or care guidelines, failing to provide the patient with appropriate care. Miscommunicating or the lack of communication constitutes malpractice.
The typical emergency room can easily become overcrowded. Due to a lack of beds or short staff, it can become difficult to provide incoming patients with the necessary care. This means that some individuals may experience long wait times for admittance.
While this does not always pose a threat, this can result in malpractice. If an individual is experiencing a medical problem that becomes serious without immediate attention and treatment, the emergency room and staff can be held liable.
Failing to Adhere to Policies
Medical settings have policies and procedures in place to ensure that patients receive proper care. However, professionals may sometimes ignore these policies in order to save time. For example, they may rush labs, rush to complete paperwork ladened with errors, or fail to monitor the patient.
Ignoring these policies can result in serious issues for the patient.
Once a patient is discharged, they should feel confident in their diagnosis and know what to do in terms of caring for themselves. Yet, patients do not always experience appropriate discharge. For example, if a patient may have been misdiagnosed, the information given will be inaccurate and may cause more issues down the road.
The emergency room staff may also fail to notify relevant parties, such as a patient’s primary care physician. This can also constitute as an improper discharge.