Baltimore Malpractice Lawyers: What Are the Most Common Emergency Room Errors?

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Medical malpractice can occur in many different settings and under a variety of circumstances. Because of the chaotic and fast-paced environment of hospital emergency rooms, a large number of medical malpractice lawsuits arise from mistakes during emergency room visits. Common medical errors that occur in emergency rooms include the following:

  • Delayed treatment. Even with a triage system in place, some patients do not receive adequate treatment in a timely manner. Their symptoms might also be downplayed or ignored, leading to a worsening of their condition.
  • Patient dumping. This practice, while illegal, happens all too frequently. It occurs when patients are transferred or released because they are unable to pay or do not have medical insurance.
  • Misdiagnosis. Because of its time-critical nature, an emergency room is likely to have a higher misdiagnosis rate than the overall healthcare misdiagnosis rate. Heart attacks, strokes and infections are some of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions in emergency rooms.
  • Failure to order appropriate tests. There are a number of tests that can be ordered in an emergency room to diagnose and treat, including X-rays, MRIs, blood tests and ultrasounds. However, a doctor who is in a rush or poorly communicating with other staff members might order the wrong test or fail to order one at all.

Not all emergency room errors are the result of medical malpractice. But if you believe you were a victim of a serious emergency room error caused by a healthcare professional’s negligence, speak with the Maryland malpractice attorneys at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. to discuss a possible claim.