When you need an emergency room the last thing on your mind is the possibility you will walk away in a worse condition than when you arrived. Unfortunately, due to a variety of preventable factors, too many emergency room patients are injured during the course of their visit. If you’ve suffered as a result of medical negligence, our Philadelphia emergency room error lawyers at Shrager & Sachs are prepared to represent you.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 136.9 million visits are made to ER departments around the country every year. With that number in mind and the idea that many hospitals are understaffed and overworked, it’s no surprise patients are injured. That doesn’t mean, however, these events are ever excusable. Negligent hospital staff should be held accountable for their actions. That’s where we come in.
If you’ve sustained injuries as a result of your emergency room visit, you have legal rights and options that can help you seek justice and compensation. In order to do so, you’ll need a dedicated and knowledgeable legal team behind you. You’ll also benefit from understanding emergency room errors, why they happen, and what the laws are surrounding liability.
Types of E.R. Errors in Philadelphia
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the following are the most common ER errors patients are likely to experience:
Diagnostic Errors. Diagnostic errors are the most common mistakes that occur in emergency rooms. Patients may be wrongly misdiagnosed or a doctor may miss a diagnosis altogether. Diagnostic errors are incredibly dangerous and can lead to worsening conditions, and, in some cases, even death.
Medication Errors. When a hospital staff member administers medication improperly, the patient is likely to suffer unexpected symptoms and possible consequences. In some cases, their condition may even worsen. Medication errors most often occur when a patient receives an improper dosage or the incorrect medicine.
Documentation Errors. Unfortunately, paperwork and administrative mistakes can have serious consequences. When someone incorrectly records information about a patient, that person may receive incorrect or unnecessary treatments.
Communication Errors. When hospital staff neglect to communicate effectively, patient care can suffer. A patient may not receive their treatments in a timely fashion, or they may not be sent for testing when it’s requested.
Why Emergency Room Mistakes Occur
The primary causes of emergency room errors are entirely preventable when the proper measures are taken into consideration. The causes can be broken down into three categories: understaffing, overworking, and inadequate training. If you believe you’ve suffered as a result of medical malpractice, our legal team can help you develop a strong case.
Of the millions of individuals who enter ERs each year, only 35.4 percent are seen in under 15 minutes. One of the main reasons the wait time is so long is because hospitals are understaffed. Not only is an understaffed hospital unable to treat patients efficiently, but they may be overworked and fatigued to the point they are unable to treat patients effectively.
Because hospitals are understaffed, they may hire individuals who do not have the proper training required to treat patients. When this happens, patients are likely to receive treatments that do not work for them or cause additional problems.
Consequences of Emergency Room Errors
The consequences of emergency rooms errors can be more serious than many people realize. A victim of medical negligence may suffer physically, psychologically, and financially. The right attorney can recover compensation to manage those damages.
The physical consequences vary depending on the initial condition or illness. If a patient’s stroke, for example, is misdiagnosed, they could end up with paralysis that could have been prevented. The psychological effects can be long lasting depending on the mistake that was made. A person may even be concerned about future medical mistakes to the point they no longer seek medical attention when they need it. Lastly, the financial burden can pile quickly when medical bills are involved.
Determining Legal Liability After an E.R. Mistake in Pennsylvania
Emergency room malpractice can occur anywhere from admission to discharge. It can be difficult to determine exact liability when a multitude of healthcare professionals were involved in the evaluation and treatment. An experienced lawyer can help you determine who was responsible for the error and what their relationship is to the emergency room you visited. Once liability is determined, compensation can be calculated.
Contact an Emergency Room Error Attorney in Philadelphia, PA
It’s unlikely the hospital you or your loved one attended will own up to their negligent actions. But when you put your trust in the hands of a doctor or other hospital staff member and you suffer as a result, that party should be held accountable for your sake and the sake of future patients.
Our Philadelphia emergency room lawyer can help you investigate what happened and pull together the evidence you need to get the compensation you deserve. With our free initial consultation, we can provide you with the advice you need to determine what your next steps are. Contact us today.