Emergency room in a hospital.

Emergency Room Malpractice

Your treating medical providers owe you, their patient, a duty of care right from the start. This is true when you walk into your primary care doctor’s visit, it is true when you are getting lab work done, and it is true if you need emergency treatment in a hospital emergency room. While emergency rooms can often operate at or above capacity and may be chaotic in nature, you are still owed a duty of care. Should your doctor and other treating health care professionals fail to uphold this duty, and you are injured as a result, you may be entitled to compensation through pursuing a medical malpractice claim.

What is considered emergency room malpractice?

A focal point in any medical malpractice case is the applicable standard of care. The law requires doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel to uphold a certain standard of care when treating patients. They are required to provide the same level of treatment that a similarly situated, competent medical professional would have provided under the same circumstances. Failure to do so means that there has been a breach of duty. If the breach of duty caused preventable harm, then medical malpractice may have occurred. It is critical to establish that a duty was owed, there was a breach of the duty owed, and harm resulted from the breach of duty.

Some of the more common errors that are seen in emergency rooms include:

  • Anesthesia errors
  • Surgical errors
  • Medication errors
  • Failure to order proper lab testing
  • Errors in interpreting lab test results
  • Improperly discharging a patient
  • Failure to attend to a patient as fast as necessitated by their condition

These kinds of errors can occur for a number of reasons. For instance, in an emergency room setting, mistakes can be made due to the facility being overstaffed, operating above capacity, or simply due to carelessness on the part of the staff. Sometimes, there are unsanitary conditions in an ER that can harm patients seeking treatment. One of the most common errors to occur in the emergency room setting is misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis. In a case of misdiagnosis, a patient is diagnosed with the wrong medical condition. In a case of missed diagnosis, a patient is not diagnosed with any medical condition when they are in actuality suffering from a medical condition. Errors in diagnosis can have devastating and lasting impacts on the health and well-being of a patient. Diagnostic errors can mean that a patient does not receive the treatment they need. It can also mean that a patient receives the wrong kind of treatment. Either way, the health of a patient can suffer as a result.

Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If you have suffered harm due to emergency room negligence, trust that the medical malpractice attorneys at Cooper Schall & Levy will fight for you. We will tirelessly pursue your legal right to full and fair monetary recovery for your injuries. Contact us today.