Emergency Room Errors: A Critical Look at Urgent Care Malpractice

Emergency Room Errors: A Critical Look at Urgent Care Malpractice

Emergency rooms are a critical part of the American healthcare industry, serving as the first stop for those with severe or time-sensitive injuries. Busy emergency rooms may see thousands of patients per day, and when doctors are working in that type of high-stress situation, mistakes do happen. At what point does a medical mistake become medical malpractice, and how do you recover compensation for such severe errors?

The team at Kingbird Legal is here to help you. Find out more about your legal options during this challenging time by calling us at 484-289-4880.

Different Types of ER Errors

Emergency room physicians perform a wide range of tasks, which unfortunately leaves lots of room for error. Each type of error poses a significant risk to a patient’s well-being and faith in the medical system. In the best-case scenario, an error is caught immediately and fixed before any real damage is done. In the worst-case scenario, no one identifies an error until a patient has already been killed or suffered permanent damage. Some errors reported in emergency rooms include:

  • Diagnostic errors: This is an incredibly common source of medical mistakes. When a patient receives an incorrect diagnosis or is sent away without any diagnosis at all, they have no chance of securing the treatment they need to recover.
  • Treatment issues: When patients do not receive the correct treatment or the correct treatment is done improperly, they don’t just fail to get the benefits of the accurate treatment. They are also at risk of negative side effects from inaccurate or improperly done treatment.
  • Medication errors: There are numerous ways medication errors can occur. Care providers may give the incorrect medication, dosage, or preparation. They may also give the medication to the wrong patient or administer it at the wrong time.
  • Communication problems: Effective communication is at the heart of the medical industry. When care providers struggle to communicate with each other, their patients, and staff members, it is all too easy for serious misunderstandings to occur.

What Causes ER Errors?

A number of factors contribute to emergency room errors throughout the United States. Staffing shortages are a significant issue in many parts of the country, particularly since care providers with a greater array of options often choose a less stressful work environment than the emergency room. Despite the staff shortage, there are more patients than ever—putting an ever-increasing workload on a shrinking number of medical care providers.

Another source of errors is a lack of standardized care protocols or a failure to enforce existing protocols. Even if a hospital has evidence-based protocols to reduce errors, they can’t help if care providers think that they are unnecessary. Unfortunately, this is how many mistakes happen—care providers believe that they are incapable of making the mistakes that led to the need for standardized protocols in the first place. When they ignore those protocols, they make preventable mistakes.

The Consequences of Emergency Room Errors

The fallout of serious emergency room errors is severe. It’s not just the individual patient who suffers—society as a whole and the entire medical industry both lose as well. Patients involved in an emergency room error may go through unnecessary treatment, lose valuable treatment time due to misdiagnosis, incur expenses they should not have to pay, and even suffer additional injuries or side effects. This type of interaction can also erode their trust in medical providers, a problem that spreads when they tell their friends and family about their experience. Medical errors cost patients and facilities an enormous amount of money, especially when a mistake is severe enough to result in a malpractice claim.

These consequences ripple throughout all of society, changing people’s view of healthcare, their receptiveness to seeking care, and their opinion of medical providers. An uptick in expenses affects everyone, leading to higher expenses across the board.

Did a Medical Mistake Change Your Life? Call Kingbird Legal Now

If you’ve suffered preventable injury or illness due to medical malpractice in West Chester, PA, we understand how angry and helpless you may be feeling right now. Our team is here to support you as you fight for compensation after your loss. Set up a consultation now by calling 484-289-4880 or contacting us online.

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