5 Common Types of Malpractice in an Emergency Room

A team of doctors operating on a patient in an emergency room

Medical malpractice is one of the leading causes of death. Mistakes made by medical staff account for 250,000 deaths every year. Medical malpractice can happen in a doctor’s office, hospital or other venue. Many cases happen in a hospital, particularly in an emergency room.

Emergency rooms are very stressful. When a patient is in the emergency room, time is of the essence. Minutes, even seconds, matter. Doctors often must make quick decisions and sometimes their decisions are not the right ones. Patients often end up getting very sick or even dying.

In an emergency room, medical malpractice can come in many forms. Here are five of the most common types of hospital negligence claims.

EMT and Paramedic Neglect

EMTs and paramedics are often the first ones at an accident scene. What they do in the first few minutes after they arrive can help a victim or hurt them even more. EMTs and paramedics have a duty to not endanger the wellbeing of others. By driving a dirty, germ-infested vehicle or having expired medications on hand, they cause a patient more harm than good. Driving recklessly and endangering the patient is another type of neglect that can lead to a medical malpractice claim.

Anesthesia Malpractice

Anesthesiologists give medicine to patients about to undergo surgery. This may seem simple, but it’s not. There are so many negative things that can happen. The patient may have an allergic reaction to the medication. The patient may receive the wrong dose of medication and suffer a serious injury or even death. In fact, most medical malpractice claims against anesthesiologists are for failing to save the person’s life. Infections, cardiac arrest and airway mishaps can also happen while a patient is under anesthesia.

Surgical Error

When people think of medical malpractice, surgical errors often come to mind—and for good reason. Approximately 4,000 preventable surgical mistakes happen every year. These mistakes include leaving sponges, tools and other objects inside a patient’s body. Common mistakes also include performing the wrong procedure and operating on the wrong part of the body.

Many mistakes go unreported, since hospitals are only obligated to report those that result in a settlement or lawsuit. This is concerning for those undergoing surgical procedures. We trust doctors to have the competence to perform the right surgery the first time around.

Delayed Diagnosis

Diagnostic mistakes are common in emergency room settings. That’s because there is very little time to make a proper diagnosis, especially when a patient suffers from a rare disease. Delayed diagnosis, missed diagnosis, wrong diagnosis and failure to diagnose are all common issues in a hospital.

Contaminated Blood Transfusion

Contaminated blood was a huge issue in the 1970s and still happens today. While medical facilities are more stringent about testing nowadays, negligence does happen. Patients given contaminated blood may suffer from nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and shock. Some may be given blood that contains HIV or some other deadly infection and die.

Work with an Experienced Emergency Room Malpractice Lawyer

Doctors are human and make mistakes just like everyone else. The difference, however, is that a medical mistake can lead to serious injury or even death.

If you suffered damages from medical malpractice, seek legal help right away. You may be able to receive damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and wrongful death of a loved one. Contact an experienced emergency room malpractice lawyer from Peters Berger Koshel & Goldberg, P.C. for assistance. Schedule a free initial consultation by calling (800) 836-7801 today.

 


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