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Emergency Room Errors Lead to Thousands of Deaths and Injuries Every Year

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

Lake County medical malpractice attorneysNo one ever wants to visit an emergency room, but sometimes there is no other choice. When an immediate medical problem such as severe chest pain or difficulty breathing arises, the emergency room is the fastest way to receive treatment. However, emergency room staff are not perfect and sometimes they make mistakes. Some of these emergency room errors are relatively harmless while others have the potential to cause devastating or even fatal consequences. If you or a loved one have suffered from an emergency room mistake, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim.

Understanding How ER Errors Occur

It is estimated that roughly 5-10 percent of all emergency room visits involve some type of medical error. This equates to as many as 10 million ER mistakes every year in the United States. While not all such errors will cause lasting damage, some can be extremely serious. 

Some of the most common emergency room errors include:

  • Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis including failure to recognize and properly address symptoms of a stroke or heart attack
  • Medication errors including administration of the wrong type of medication or an incorrect dose
  • Failure to provide appropriate medical treatment
  • Unsanitary conditions or equipment which can lead to patient infections
  • Misinterpretation of laboratory test results
  • Misuse of medical equipment
  • Administrative mistakes such as mislabeled patient files or incorrect test results
  • Failure to obtain a patient’s medical history

Study Shows that Nearly Half of All ER Mistakes Are Related to Information Processing

In a study published in De Gruyter's journal Diagnosis, it was discovered that approximately 45 percent of emergency room mistakes involved a problem with information processing. This means that doctors and other medical staff were able to obtain the needed patient information, but this information was misinterpreted.

 It can be difficult to know when a doctor’s failure to correctly interpret patient symptoms or test results constitutes medical negligence. A doctor is typically considered negligent when his or her medical treatment does not meet the medical standard of care. This standard of care is typically defined as the type of care that a reasonably skilled doctor of similar training and experience would have provided under similar circumstances. Proving that an emergency room error led to a patient’s injury or death can be a complicated legal process that will require help from a knowledgeable malpractice attorney.

Contact a Waukegan Emergency Room Mistake Lawyer

Emergency rooms are often chaotic, busy environments. Unlike the inpatient wards of a hospital, the ER may be full of noise, interruptions, and patients who need immediate medical attention. If you or a loved one were harmed after receiving substandard care at an ER, contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Lake County medical malpractice attorney by calling us at 847-662-3303 today.





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