Top Factors Behind Medical Errors in the Emergency Department
If you were recently rushed to the hospital for an accidental injury or sudden medical issue, there’s a good chance you received treatment in the emergency department. Though experiences differ, you probably noticed that the ER is one of the busiest areas of the facility. In some situations, demand for care can outpace supply of providers, potentially leading to overcrowding and understaffing – neither of which creates an ideal treatment environment. An article in Science Daily suggests that medical errors in the emergency room may also stem from frequent interruptions, along with incomplete or inaccurate information regarding the patient’s medical history.
When you are treated negligently in the emergency department or any other clinical environment, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. A Florida medical malpractice attorney can explain in more detail, but read on for some important information about your rights.
Common Medical Errors in the Emergency Room: Aside from the serious issues that result from overcrowding and understaffing, the nature of the typical Florida emergency department affects the availability of medical records. When staff is providing care on an urgent, potentially life-threatening basis, physicians and nurses may not have time to wait. Plus, many patients are unable to offer critical information because they’re unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate.
The lack of immediate access or limited medical records may lead to:
- The failure to recognize heart attack or stroke in patients with a history or risk factors;
- Prescription mistakes, where a drug may interact with other medicines;
- Misdiagnosis of a medical condition;
- Failure to order appropriate testing or lab screenings; or
- Errors in reading the results of x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and other exams.
In addition, the ER environment is fast-paced and very fluid, making it absolutely critical to ensure safe, sanitary conditions. Infection is one of the deadliest issues that can result from dirty, unhygienic surfaces, linens, medical tools, common areas, and other spaces.
Health Care Provider Negligence in Emergency Room Errors: While the ER is stressful and dynamic, practitioners are not excused from complying with their duty to provide quality patient care. Generally, this duty requires medical professionals to make decisions and offer treatment in accordance with what a similar provider would – having the same training and under similar circumstances. Note that the duty applies to others besides physicians, so nurses and other licensed practitioners must adhere to the standard of care.
In other words, if a health care provider in the emergency department deviated from what others would have done, there may be a situation of medical negligence. Still, you must be able to show that you suffered harm as a direct result of the error.
Set Up a No-Cost Consultation with a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer
The emergency department may be a hectic, active, and demanding environment, but health care providers still have a duty to offer treatment in accordance with acceptable medical standards. To learn more about your legal rights and remedies, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. to schedule a free case evaluation with a Miami medical malpractice lawyer.