The emergency room is almost always the first stop when a medical crisis arises. It’s a place where we hope to receive fast and efficient medical care for whatever our injury or illness may be. It’s not a place where we want to worry about leaving in an even worse state than when we arrived.
Mistakes in the emergency room are more common that we’d like to see. If you or someone you love has been injured or harmed in an ER due to a mistake that was made, a Baltimore emergency room errors lawyer from Belsky & Horowitz, LLC can help you in the event that you are the victim of a hospital’s or medical professional’s negligence.
Emergency Room Statistics
- According to the Center for Disease Control, there are over 100 million ER visits each year.
- 40 million of those visits are directly related to injuries.
- The average ER wait time before seeing a medical professional is 24 minutes.
- Estimates say 5 to 10 percent of all emergency room visits are subject to error.
- 57 percent of those medical mistakes are related to a diagnosis error.
- A study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that 40 percent of ER mistakes are reported by nurses, 25 percent by providers, 19 percent by clerical staff, and 13 percent by technicians and orderlies. The remaining 3 percent come from multiple reporters.
What Are the Most Common Emergency Room Errors?
There are a variety of medical mistakes that can occur in the ER; however, there are some that are more common than others.
Misdiagnosis. A misdiagnosis, or even the failure to diagnosis, is the most common type of error you’ll find in an emergency room. Certain conditions like heart attacks and strokes, infections, and meningitis are prone to misdiagnosis.
Medication Errors. Medication errors occur when a patient is given too high or too low a dosage of a medicine. It can also occur if the patient is given the wrong medication altogether.
Delayed Care. Delayed care happens when a patient does not receive a treatment that has been ordered for them in the timeframe in which it was to be delivered. Treatments may include medication, lab testing, medical procedures, or physical therapy.
Incorrect Treatment. In the event that you receive a medication or procedure that exacerbates your condition, you may have received incorrect treatment.
Patient Dumping. Patient dumping is a serious and illegal event that occurs when a hospital releases a patient onto the streets or into the care of a different hospital, without a proper transfer in place. This happens most often with patients who are underinsured or uninsured.
How Do ER Mistakes Happen?
The majority of emergency room mistakes are caused by human error – which means they most likely could have been prevented. While these reasons might explain the mistakes that lead to medical malpractice, they do not act as an excuse – which is why our Maryland emergency room error lawyers are ready to fight for you.
It’s the unfortunate truth that many of our hospitals are understaffed. This leads to health care professionals being stressed and fatigued – both of which can cause errors in their work. If a nurse or doctor has a large number of patients they are unable to manage, but do not have access to other staff members, they may try to rush through procedures or examinations to get through as many people as possible. Not all medical procedures can or should be expedited.
Miscommunication or the lack of communication and insufficient documentation can also lead to errors. Most patients in a hospital will come into contract with multiple nurses, technicians, orderlies, and even doctors. If your chart and paperwork are not properly looked after and your nurses and doctors aren’t communicating effectively, an important part of your treatment or care plan could fall through the cracks without notice – until it’s too late.
There are also times, though not as common, when health care professionals choose to deviate from established protocols for one reason or another. This is a dangerous choice that can have detrimental consequences for their patients.
Faulty equipment and a lack of resources and organization may also be to blame for ER negligence; however, these are less common when compared to mistakes caused by human error.
How a Baltimore Emergency Room Mistake Attorney Can Help
In the event of a medical mistake made in the ER, you may experience financial burdens, lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent disabilities, and more. Our attorneys have been representing victims of medical malpractice for years.
If you or a loved one was the unfortunate victim of an ER error, we can help you hold those at fault responsible and reach a settlement you deserve. Contact our office today for a free consultation or call us at 410-234-3992 or 800-895-5333.