Mistakes in the Emergency Room
Many claims are attributed to injuries suffered in an ER, where the environment can be chaotic.
- failure to treat – when a patient doesn’t receive adequate treatment, he or she can suffer further injuries;
- delayed treatment – a delay in treatment can exacerbate a condition. For example, if a stroke isn’t treated within a certain time frame, the patient can develop serious complications, including death; and
- failure to diagnose – this can lead to serious complications. If a patient is having a heart attack but is told that he or she has a chest strain or acid reflux, the result could be fatal.
Other Common Claims
In a study of more than 7,000 journal papers on medical malpractice claims, Irish researchers found determined that the highest number was attributed to missed diagnoses (particularly cancer and heart attacks in adults and meningitis and cancer in children) and medication mistakes (including steroids, antibiotics, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anticoagulants).
“Only one-third of U.S. claims the researchers looked at resulted in a payout,” said July 19, 2013, CBS News article about the study.
Hospitals & Health Networks published its own top 10 list of claims, including:
- Medication mistakes in which “patients allege they were given the wrong medication, the wrong dose, in the wrong form or place, at the wrong time, or not given their medication at all”
- Misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose, which resulted in delayed or improper treatment
- Negligent supervision, which could mean that a patient was left alone to fall or otherwise injure him- or that a med student made a call that should have been made by a physician
- Delayed treatment. “Hospitals lose these cases at trial 39 percent of the time,” according to H&HN.
- Failure to obtain informed consent
- Lack of skill, such as a doctor performing an operation he or she does not specialize in
- Wrongful death
- Hospital-acquired infections or fractures from being allowed to move about without assistance (which ties in with #3 above). “Of all types of malpractice cases, patients have the highest chance–45 percent–of winning these cases at trial according to the 2002 Jury Verdict Research report,” H&HN stated.
- Pain and suffering
- Lack of communication among hospital/surgical staff.
If you suspect that a medical mistake caused your injury, disfigurement, or disability, attorney Chris Mellino invites you to contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation. You may also download or request Chris’ free, easy-to-read guide to filing a medical malpractice claim in Ohio.