Emergency Room Errors

There is much debate as to whether medical malpractice events are becoming increasingly more common or they are just becoming increasingly more apparent. Mistakes in the medical field are nothing new, but failures in oversight, lack of regulatory adherence and plain human error have led to a number of recent avoidable injuries and deaths.

Doctors have a duty to care for their patients the instant there becomes an established doctor-patient relationship, but what about malpractice in emergency rooms? Are victims of emergency room errors entitled to filing lawsuits for negligence as well? The answer is yes, and Balzarini & Watson may be able to help.

ERs Are Notoriously Overcrowded and Chaotic

The very name of these hospitals, emergency room, indicates that people who enter the facility are in a state of emergency. Often, emergency rooms are understaffed. No appointments are made for emergencies, because they are obviously unplanned, so ERs at times do not have enough doctors and nurses to facilitate the amount of patients coming in. None of this eliminates the facility's responsibility to its patients. Emergency rooms must be kept sanitary and all patients must be treated according to a reasonable standard of care regardless of how crowded the facility may get.

It is estimated that emergency room error lawsuits cost hospitals about $1 billion annually.

Poor Communication and Lack of Patient History

The doctors and nurses at emergency rooms are not your normal doctors. They are not who you make checkups with. They are who you go and see in a state of medical emergency. Because of this, doctors and nurses may not be able to get access to your patient history. These medical professionals are still responsible to try as best as they can to obtain patient information. This is essential. Knowing your patient history and medical background can help them better diagnose your condition, treat your ailment and avoid giving you a medication you may have an adverse reaction to.

The Wall Street Journal states that as many as 37 to 55 percent of all emergency room error lawsuits are diagnostic error claims.

Emergency rooms recognize that poor communication is also a major problem, as this is a common cause of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. In the same report on ER errors, The Wall Street Journal indicated that a group of hospitals across the nation were beginning to implement improved communication techniques between doctors, nurses and triage (intake) nurses.

ER-Contracted Staph Infections

Poor sanitation can lead to staph infections and other infections that patients contract while in emergency rooms. According to the Mayo Clinic, "staph infections are caused by staphylococcus bacteria." Staph infections are relatively minor and easy to treat if they remain external, but once this germ enters a person's blood stream, such as through an IV needle, it can become deadly if not treated with antibiotics quickly.

Contact Balzarini & Watson today!

If you or someone you love was injured or their condition was made worse while in an emergency room, you may have a claim. Contact a Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorney at our firm today so we can look at your case and determine if legal recourse is necessary. Victims of malpractice deserve aggressive and experienced representation on their side. At Balzarini & Watson, we are prepared to advocate on behalf of victims so they can obtain the financial compensation and justice they deserve. Call us today for your free case evaluation.