Emergency rooms can be very stressful places for both patients and healthcare providers. There may be a high volume of patients, many of whom may be critically ill or seriously injured. But no matter how busy or how urgent the patients’ needs, healthcare professionals must provide appropriate care to all patients. Sometimes errors happen in emergency rooms, which can lead to patients being injured or even killed as a result.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries due to mistakes by emergency room physicians or other hospital staff, the medical malpractice lawyers at Berkowitz Hanna can help. Our Connecticut emergency room error lawyers represent individuals and family members who have suffered serious injuries due to hospital mistakes, including those made in the emergency room.
Emergency rooms across the U.S. saw 136.6 million visits in 2011 – 40.2 million of them as a result of injuries – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is in this busy atmosphere that mistakes happen. According to a study of files of insurance companies in emergency room malpractice cases closed from 1985 to 2007:
In another study of 122 emergency department malpractice claims from four insurance companies, researchers found that 79 claims (65%) involved missed diagnoses that harmed patients. 48% of these missed diagnoses were associated with serious harm and 39% resulted in death. The leading causes of errors in diagnostic process were failure to order an appropriate diagnostic test (58%), failure to perform an adequate medical history or physical examination (42%), incorrect interpretation of a diagnostic test (37%), and failure to obtain an appropriate consultation (33%). The factors most responsible for contributing to these missed diagnoses were those related to the thought processes of the healthcare providers (96%), patient-related factors (34%), failure to adequately supervise others (30%), inadequate transfer of patients from one person to another (24%), and excessive workload (23%). Researchers concluded that missed diagnoses in emergency departments have complex causes involving multiple breakdowns in the diagnostic process, along with several other contributing factors.
Other than diagnostic errors, there are many other types of errors that can be made by healthcare professionals in an emergency room setting, as a Connecticut attorney could explain. For example, medication errors, such as prescribing the wrong type or dosage to a patient, or even something as simple as a failure of healthcare workers to communicate during a shift change, can have detrimental consequences.
When mistakes are made and serious conditions are not properly diagnosed and treated, serious injuries can result. Failed diagnosis and lack of treatment for heart attacks, strokes, and fatal conditions such as cancer are common emergency room errors. When these conditions are caught early, patients have a better chance of recovery and survival.
As our Connecticut ER error lawyers know all too well, lives are put at risk when mistakes such as these take place. In order to lessen the chances of a problem occurring in an emergency room, consider the following:
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries due to mistakes in the emergency room, our skilled lawyers can provide compassionate, yet aggressive, legal help so you can protect your legal rights and seek fair compensation for the injuries suffered due to emergency room errors.
To find out if you have a claim, contact us today. A Connecticut emergency room error lawyer at Berkowitz Hanna is ready to get to work for you.