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How errors in the emergency room put patients at risk

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

A hospital’s emergency department is a place meant for people who have life-threatening medical conditions. While it’s true that the team there can’t save everyone, they should do as much as they can for each person who comes in. 

Unfortunately, there are times when emergency department patients receive subpar care, sometimes due to errors by the medical team that should have been helping them. This can lead to serious patient harm, which may result in catastrophic consequences for the patient. 

What types of errors might occur in emergency departments?

Errors can occur at any stage of a person’s experience in the emergency department. Patients are triaged according to the complaint they came in with and their vital signs. With that in mind:

  • Errors in the triage process mean that critically ill patients might have to wait longer for care than what’s acceptable. 
  • Errors with testing, including imaging scans and lab work, can occur. Doctors in the emergency department often have limited information, so they rely on those tests to be accurate.
  • Errors with a diagnosis can happen. Doctors must do their best to diagnose a patient and provide immediate life-saving care – but a heart attack can be mistaken for indigestion. 

Patients in the emergency department should be able to count on the team there to help. When there are medical errors made, patients suffer. Those individuals might choose to seek compensation for the financial damages they’re facing. Because of the complexity of these cases and the strict time limits set into New York law, working with someone familiar with these cases is beneficial.