We generally think of hospitals as an environment where our emergent health concerns can receive proper attention and treatment. At least 100 million patients visit the emergency room in the United States every year and nearly every person in the country will have to seek emergency treatment once in their lifetime. Unfortunately, some of them will be subject to an error during their stay. According to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, most of these errors fall into two categories: diagnostic errors and improper performance of procedures.
The environment of an emergency room can lend itself to errors when it is not properly managed. Patients who visit emergency rooms are in need of urgent treatment, causing high stress levels and rushed medical decisions. Common causes of mistakes include:
- Fatigued staff
- Inexperienced or improperly trained staff
- Shortage of staff
- Not adequately equipped
- Not taking enough time to assess a patient and perform necessary tests
These errors can lead to a number of serious conditions, such as:
- Heart attack or stroke
- Pulmonary embolism
- Aneurysm dissection
- Physical disability
- Sepsis or infection
- Permanent injury to organs
In severe cases, these egregious mistakes may also have fatal results or result in long term pain and deterioration in quality of life for a patient.
Many of these errors can be avoided if hospitals improved staffing conditions and ensuring adequate staffing levels. Allocating resources toward training less experienced staff can also elevate the quality of care patients receive.
If you were the victim of an emergency room error that was the result of medical malpractice, you may want to file a claim to seek justice and compensation for your pain and suffering. Langer & Langer has a skilled team of Indiana medical malpractice attorneys who are ready to fight on your behalf if you have a meritorious claim.