An ER Visit May Endanger, Not Save, Your Life

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the number of people dying from medical malpractice each year in the United States is growing. Medical malpractice deaths have become the third leading cause of death in the United States according to JAMA, after heart disease & cancer. Malpractice occurs frequently & patients are treated inadequately, especially in our nation’s emergency rooms.

Emergency rooms are designed to treat a large number of people with a wide range of medical problems ranging from common ailments such as the flu to life-threatening injuries such as gunshot wounds & open head injuries. Right. We tend to believe that if we go straight to an ER or are taken to one by an ambulance, we will be evaluated fairly quickly & be seen by an experienced ER physician & ER staff. That is not always the case.

Staff in emergency rooms are trained in what’s called triage, the assessment of the seriousness of a medical condition in order to provide prompt care if needed. A faulty assessment during triage can lead to a delayed diagnosis & delayed treatment, both of which can result in death in an already-critically ill patient.

Even though ER staff are trained to work in a fast-paced environment & treat patients efficiently, our nation’s ER’s have become busier & busier, & even the most highly-trained ER specialists can notkeep up with the demands of the ER patients. For this reason, some patients are waiting many hours to be seen; understaffed ERs are also a enormousproblem in this country. Sometimes there simply are not enough nurses & doctors in the ER to get to all of the patients in a timely manner. Emergency rooms can be a very stressful work environment for doctors & their staff as some ERs do not even have the necessary equipment to provide patients the proper care.

Common emergency errors are:

· Failure to adequately monitor a patient while in the ER
· Not getting a complete medical history/drug allergy information
· Late or wrong diagnosis
· Failure to fully evaluate/treat a patient’s condition
· Prescribing incorrect medication
· Faulty or incomplete laboratory testing
· Contaminated blood transfusions

Failing to get & review thorough medical histories, failing to do adequate testing & failing to provide proper treatment to a patient are inexcusable emergency room errors that happen every day in our country. A trip to the ER should save your life, not endanger it.

If you or a loved one has suffered due to the negligence or malpractice of a medical professional in Philadelphia or anywhere in Pennsylvania, please visit the website of experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys Pomerantz, Perlberger & Lewis LLP.