When An Emergency Room Error Causes Harm
An emergency room (ER) visit is, by definition, often a true emergency. The medical condition of someone who is having a stroke or heart attack or someone who has experienced trauma in an accident can change drastically from one minute to the next. A patient may be at risk of negligence of ER doctors and other health care professionals when they fail to adhere to accepted standards of care, with results such as the following:
- Triage errors and delays.
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Medication errors
Triage refers to the quick identification of the most medically distressed people to give them immediate medical help. When there is an error or triage is delayed, the medical condition or injury may not receive the proper treatment in time. For example, if a patient comes into the ER with symptoms of a heart attack or pulmonary embolism, they need immediate medical treatment. Delaying treatment or misdiagnosing a patient’s condition can be fatal.
For Iowans who have suffered harm through such medical mistakes in ERs, Galligan Law in Des Moines can be a strong advocate. Our lead litigator, attorney Brian P. Galligan, is respected by legal professionals, insurance claims adjusters and judges. Many of our clients come to us as referrals sent by other law firms who know of our accomplishments and efficiency.
How Do ER Errors Happen?
Naturally, diagnosis and treatment protocols in an urgent care setting or in an emergency room can quickly become hectic and problematic. When a patient is in pain or at risk of worse outcomes, health care professionals may struggle to keep up with the patient’s condition. Decision-making by doctors may be affected by the time it takes to get back laboratory results, a patient’s erratic vital signs and other obstacles.
Regardless of the difficulties inherent in an emergency room setting, they do not justify medical errors. Doctors and laboratory staff are expected to follow established standards of care. In some cases, staffing may be a problem. Many emergency rooms are staffed by physician assistants (PAs), who are also expected to follow accepted standards of care. When a missed or delayed diagnosis in an emergency room results in unsatisfactory outcomes, an investigation by a medical malpractice attorney is in order.
To Request A Free Consultation
Reach out to Galligan Law to discuss what to do next after you know or suspect that an ER error was the cause of your or your loved one’s disastrous outcome during an ER visit. Call us at Local: 515-316-6179 or complete our online intake form to get the conversation started.