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Common Mistakes in Emergency Room Care That Could Cause You to Suffer Injuries or Death

emergency room teamIf you must go to the emergency room, you fear you're experiencing a serious medical problem. You want and deserve prompt, competent medical care from your doctors, nurses, and other medical assistants to treat your problem or admit you into the hospital if necessary.

Unfortunately, many patients don't receive the proper standard of care in an emergency room. This can result in their medical problem not being treated correctly, causing an even more serious medical emergency or death. If you or a family member received improper medical care in the emergency room, you may have a claim of medical malpractice against your doctor, the hospitals, and other health professionals treating you.

Common Mistakes Health Care Providers Make When Treating Patients in an Emergency Room

An emergency room is often a fast-paced and demanding environment to work in, making it more likely for doctors and other medical staff to make errors in the rush to treat emergencies and see the next patient. Common errors that can lead to a medical malpractice claim include:

  • Patient dumping. When a patient doesn't have health insurance or the ability to pay, some emergency room staff won't fully treat his condition; release him before he's medically ready; or transfer him to another facility.
  • Misdiagnosis. Many malpractice errors in emergency room care can involve misdiagnosing a condition, a delayed diagnosis, or misjudging symptoms. In serious cases, life-threatening conditions, such as a heart attack, cancer, or stroke may be misdiagnosed with dangerous consequences for the patient.
  • Medication errors. If hospital personnel don't do a thorough medical history that includes the patient’s current medications and those he's allergic to, he could be given medications that are incompatible  or cause a dangerous allergic reaction.
  • Failing to order appropriate tests. When the proper tests are not ordered, doctors can often misdiagnose the patient’s true medical problem.
  • Misreading medical tests. Misreading medical tests can cause a doctor to miss the warning signs of a serious medical condition, such as cancer or a stroke, which could require immediate treatment. The delay in treatment could result in the problem worsening to a point where it cannot be cured, or in the patient’s death.
  • Delayed treatment. Patients often must wait for hours to see a doctor, and sometimes their need for emergency treatment isn't properly identified by staff.
  • Improper discharge. Patients are often discharged too soon or without being given proper instructions for follow up medical care for their medical disorder.


Do you suspect that you or a loved one didn't receive the proper medical care when you went to the emergency room? Contact our office today to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your situation with Alan Morton.