When medical emergencies happen, it’s often up to the doctors and nurses working in a hospital’s emergency department to save a patient’s life. These healthcare providers regularly save lives and prevent further injury or illness for those taken to the ER. However, they are also capable of making harmful and sometimes fatal errors.
Medical malpractice and medical errors can have devastating consequences for patients and family members. When emergency room doctors and staff fail to meet an acceptable standard of care and malpractice occurs, victims can fight to hold the medical professionals and the healthcare facility accountable.
If you believe that you were the victim of emergency room malpractice, contact a knowledgeable hospital malpractice lawyer at Baker & Gilchrist now. We have extensive experience helping people like you get the answers and justice they deserve.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Emergency Room Malpractice?
ER malpractice claims are based on a standard level of care that is not provided. It is important to understand that a mistake or dissatisfaction with the outcome does not necessarily rise to the level of malpractice.
To be considered malpractice, the provider’s actions or lack of actions must fall below what’s called the “standard of medical care.” Generally speaking, the standard of medical care refers to a treatment that a reasonable healthcare provider, with the same level of training and experience, would make in a case similar to yours. You also have to show that the provider’s actions or lack thereof directly caused your injury while showing specific damages.
In addition to an individual medical professional, you may also be able to hold the healthcare facility accountable for damages that occurred due to ER malpractice. For example, you may be able to show that overcrowding, understaffing, or administrative errors in the ER affected the care and treatment you received at the facility.
Common Types of ER Malpractice
Common instances of ER malpractice include:
- Inadequate staffing: Emergency rooms are often the treatment facility of last resort. Understaffed and overcrowded emergency rooms mean long wait times for patients, which may lead to additional complications or a worse outcome than if the patient had been seen more quickly.
- Misdiagnosis: Related to the overcrowding issue, an understaffed emergency room means doctors and nurses have to work quickly to try to see everyone, leading to snap judgments and potential mistakes. This can include medication errors, mixed up patient charts, and more. A hospital may even send a patient home because of a misdiagnosis when the person should have been admitted.
- Treatment errors: Treatment errors cover everything from incorrect surgeries and medication errors to providers failing to wash their hands before surgery because they’re in a rush. It’s a hospital’s job to make sure patients get quality care in a timely manner.
- Nursing errors: There may be a failure by the nursing staff to obtain complete or adequate information that could impact the patient’s care. There may also be a failure by nursing to communicate to the physician important information shared by the patient. If a nurse does not properly carry out the orders given by a physician or convey a patient’s test results or significant changes in a patient’s condition to the physician in a timely manner, this could also result in harm to the patient.
Contact an Emergency Room Malpractice Lawyer Now
Medical malpractice can have devastating consequences, and recovering from the experience can be a long, costly ordeal. Baker & Gilchrist stands ready to investigate your case and fight to hold negligent medical professionals and hospitals accountable.
Contact us now to schedule your free consultation.