Emergency Room Errors
When you have an injury or medical condition that requires immediate attention, you normally rely on your local hospital’s emergency room. Most emergency rooms provide excellent medical care, but sometimes emergency rooms are overcrowded and understaffed, creating rushed diagnoses and treatment, and causing medical errors. Common errors in emergency rooms include:
- Overlooking obvious signs of distress, such as difficulty in breathing
- Failing to notice symptoms of stroke or heart attack
- Incorrectly evaluating a patient as part of triage
- Misdiagnosis of medical conditions
- Errors in prescribing or administering medication
- Failure to pass along critical information when new shifts come on duty
These and other types of emergency room error can lead to injuries, deterioration of an existing medical condition, or even death for the patients. A misdiagnosis can mean that a patient receives inappropriate and even potentially harmful treatment, or that precious time is lost allowing even more damage to occur. Patients can even be sent home without treatment. Medication errors, often the result of misreading charts or labels, can cause significant harm. Rushed emergency room staff may not follow established procedures or may fail to order necessary tests.
In addition, any hospital that receives Medicare funding is subject to the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), which means the emergency room cannot turn anyone away, regardless of lack of insurance or ability to pay. The state of Florida also has its own version of EMTALA, which requires hospitals to provide “emergency services and care.” The emergency room is required to provide the injured person with a medical screening and stabilize the person as much as possible before discharging or transferring him or her.If you’ve suffered from emergency room errors, contact a Medical malpractice attorney
If you or a loved one has been the victim of emergency room medical malpractice, it is essential that you contact a qualified attorney immediately. There is a time limit for filing medical malpractice claims, and if you fail to file suit during that period, the court will dismiss your case. In addition, the laws governing medical malpractice in the state of Florida are complex, and you need knowledgeable assistance to navigate them. You will need to establish that a competent medical professional, facing the same circumstances, would not have made the mistake that injured you or your loved one.
Your attorney will help you preserve all medical records related to the incident. You will also need a qualified medical expert to provide testimony that establishes what competent medical practitioners would have done under the same circumstances. Your attorney will need to prove that:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed when the malpractice occurred
- The treatment or lack of treatment was negligent
- The patient was injured as a result of the negligence
If malpractice is established, you may be entitled to financial recovery, including pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and other losses that you may have experienced as a result of your injury. Friedman, Rodman, & Frank can help
If you know of someone or have a loved one who has been injured or harmed in an emergency department setting, please call the South Florida law offices of Friedman, Rodman, & Frank for a free and immediate consultation. We have access to medical experts who can evaluate medical negligence and the injuries from that negligence, and we have knowledge and resources to handle and litigate cases involving emergency room errors. We’ll take the time we need to build a strong case and secure an appropriate settlement for you. To schedule a free consultation, call our Miami/South Florida offices at 305-448-8585 or toll free at 877-448-8585, or fill out our online contact form. Consultations are available in English, Spanish, and Creole.