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Emergency Room Errors

February 10, 2020  ·  By HM&M


Errors in the emergency room can occur from the moment the patient arrives at the hospital. For example, when hospitals do not recognize an emergency situation and let a patient wait too long before a doctor’s evaluation, tragedies can occur. Emergency room errors also occur when ER doctors fail to order necessary tests, consult with appropriate specialists, or fail to perform life-saving procedures. These cases can be challenging to litigate and require the expertise of experienced Chicago emergency room errors attorneys.

Overcrowding in America’s emergency rooms is reaching epidemic proportions. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are nearly 130 million visits to the ER each year. This equates to about 43 visits for every 100 persons in the United States. This number is likely to increase in future years due to changes in the law under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that require health insurers to pay the same for out-of-network emergency services as they do for medical facilities that are inside their network. While the number of ER visits is increasing, consolidation within the health care industry has led to fewer emergency rooms available for consumers.

Unfortunately, the overcrowded and understaffed emergency rooms throughout the country are not providing the quality of care patients deserve. The CDC report went on to show that only about 25 percent of patients are seen within 15 minutes of arrival at the ER. In addition, only 13 percent of visits to the ER result in hospitalization. Very often, the overworked medical staff is under such enormous pressure to get to the next patient that they do not spend enough time thoroughly examining the patients when they finally do see them. This can lead to numerous errors with sometimes deadly consequences.

When doctors send patients home without making the correct diagnosis or ordering the care that the patient actually needs, this can be considered emergency room malpractice. Examples of these types of cases include failing to diagnose and treat in a timely way:

  • Meningitis
  • Stroke
  • Heart Attack
  • Breathing Difficulties

Emergency room malpractice can also occur when patients are misdiagnosed by less qualified members of the medical staff (such as nurses or physician’s assistants) or when an emergency room error is made as a result of a shift change where the new staff is not properly informed of the patient’s condition.

A Sample of Our Successes

  • $4,700,000 – Verdict for negligence and medical malpractice where emergency room doctors failed to timely intubate or provide an airway to a 49-year-old woman suffering an asthma attack, leading to her brain damage and death.

For a free consultation, contact Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. today at 312-553-4900 or fill out our online form to have a lawyer contact you.

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