Well over 100 million people make trips to the emergency room every year. ERs are busy, crowded places, and as the name implies, doctors and nurses are frequently dealing with medical emergencies. This environment may be more susceptible to mistakes than other medical settings, so it is essential that hospitals put the proper procedures in place to make sure their ER departments are run as safely as possible. Doctors, nurses and other critical care specialists must also be alert to the possibility of error and make sure they performing to the best of their abilities.
When doctors and hospitals make crucial emergency room errors that result in patient harm, the lawyers at Palmer | Lopez apply their decades of Tampa medical malpractice experience to help patients recover compensation for the harm that has been done to them in the form of additional medical bills, lost income from missing work, pain and suffering and other damages.
Why Emergency Departments are Prone to Medical Mistakes
Despite their name, emergency rooms don’t treat every patient with the speed expected of an emergency. In fact, the average wait time in an ER is over two hours. A patient with a critical condition or medical emergency cannot afford to wait that long, and serious harm can come about from such an unreasonable delay. About one-half of all ER departments in the U.S. are overcrowded with patients. Hospitals can be liable for patient harm caused by their failure to provide sufficient space or staffing to meet the needs of their customers.
ER doctors and nurses must deal with a wide variety of medical issues and work excessively long hours in an environment which may shift from hectic periods of high-pressure and intense stress to long stretches of boredom. This is an environment which is ripe for serious medical errors. Fatigued and overworked doctors and nurses are more likely to make critical mistakes. Some of the most common forms of emergency room malpractice include:
- Unreasonable delay in treatment
- Missed diagnosis of a life-threatening condition
- Failure to immediately treat a heart attack, stroke or other life-threatening condition
- Misdiagnosis and other diagnostic errors
- Errors in prescribing, dosing and other medication errors
- Misreading a patient’s chart
- Misinterpreting lab work or test results
- Failing to conduct necessary tests or perform a differential diagnosis
- Failing to consult with specialists as warranted
- General negligence or incompetence
Since patients who show up to the ER often have grave or serious medical issues, it can be difficult for them to know whether a medical mistake is responsible for their worsening condition, or if the death of a loved one was caused by malpractice. At Palmer | Lopez, our experienced Tampa medical malpractice attorneys know how to interview emergency room staff, review medical records and consult with medical experts to determine whether a medical error is responsible. We work to build a strong case that compensates injury victims to the fullest extent possible.
Skilled and Knowledgeable Legal Representation for Emergency Room Errors in Tampa
If you or a loved one has been injured or harmed following an emergency room visit, call the Tampa ER error lawyers at Palmer | Lopez at 813-506-5651 for a free consultation. We will let you know whether we think you have a claim against the hospital, and if we take your case, there is no fee unless and until we recover for you.