Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for an Emergency Room Mistake?
We trust medical professionals to care for us when we are at our most vulnerable, and when that trust is violated through recklessness or negligence, the ramifications can be both physical and psychological.
Emergency room malpractice can manifest in a number of different ways, such as:
- medication or prescription errors;
- hospital-acquired infections;
- a birth injury;
- omission errors;
- medical negligence; and
- patient dumping, or the practice of turning a patient away to another hospital or facility because he or she is unable to pay for services.
Misdiagnosis is a common form of malpractice in an ER. When an illness or condition goes undiagnosed, the patient may not only be subjected to ineffective treatments, those treatments may also exacerbate the undiagnosed condition. In short, the patient does not receive the treatment he or she really needs.
Emergency Room Malpractice Statistics
Though underreported by the media, emergency room problems run rampant. In fact, a 2010 U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health study reviewed medical malpractice claims filed between 1985 and 2007 to see where problems exist. Researchers concluded that 11,529 claims were due to a problem within the emergency department. Physicians were identified as the primary person at fault, mainly due to diagnostic errors.