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Common emergency room errors

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

Emergency rooms are the frontline of healthcare, often dealing with life-threatening situations. In Indiana, these facilities are vital in providing critical medical care. However, despite the best efforts of healthcare professionals, emergency room errors can occur.

Emergency rooms make a few very common mistakes that have serious repercussions.


Misdiagnosis is the most common issue in emergency care, with more than seven million errors found during a study published in the National Library of Medicine. This sometimes leads to inappropriate treatment. Misdiagnosis can have serious consequences such as the patient becoming worse.

Medication errors

Medication errors in Indiana’s emergency rooms are another concern. This includes administering the wrong medication or incorrect dosages. Such errors can lead to adverse reactions, allergic responses or worsening health conditions.

Delayed treatment

Emergency rooms in Indiana often face high patient volumes, and delays in providing treatment can be a problem. Patients may have to wait before receiving medical attention. In severe cases, they may not get the care that they need in time.

Communication breakdown

Effective communication is important in an emergency room, but communication breakdowns can occur. This includes misunderstandings between medical staff, patients and their families. This results in incorrect treatment or confusing a patient’s medical history.

Discharging patients prematurely

Releasing a patient from the emergency room too soon is a long-standing issue with emergency care. Premature discharges can happen for various reasons, including overcrowding and understaffing. Patients may not receive the necessary follow-up care, leading to worsened conditions or return visits.

Healthcare providers in emergency rooms continuously work on improving patient safety and reducing the occurrence of these errors. Patients and their families should also remain vigilant and advocate for their well-being, asking questions and seeking second opinions when necessary to ensure the best possible care.