We all rely on hospital emergency departments to help us overcome a serious but unexpected injury or illness. In the state of Indiana, most emergency room visits yield excellent results. We get to walk away from the hospital in an improved condition.
At the same time, errors can occur in these hectic emergency environments. In some cases, such errors can make patients worse or threaten their lives. It is safe to say that most medical professionals work hard to provide an error-free experience in the emergency room, but when a mistake does occur, victims can find justice through a medical malpractice claim.
Common costly mistakes
Some of the errors found in emergency rooms include the following:
- Diagnostic mistakes: An improper diagnosis means that existing conditions remain untreated while patients often undergo unnecessary treatments. Cancer, strokes and other serious conditions require an accurate, early diagnosis.
- Improper discharge: When busy staff members misjudge the severity of a patient’s condition, he or she may be sent home without the right treatment. This could lead to a worsened condition.
- Prescription errors: In many cases, emergency room patients may only need the right medication to address their condition. When doctors prescribe the wrong medicine or the wrong dosage, serious consequences can occur, leaving the patient much worse.
Any emergency room mistake can become serious, but diagnostic errors are particularly dangerous to patients. Health care professionals and publications indicate that errors in diagnosing are at the root of most medical malpractice claims.
Take an active role in your health by asking questions when you visit an emergency room. If you cannot do so on your own, try to bring a friend or family member with you who can speak and ask questions on your behalf. We also encourage you to learn more about medical malpractice by continuing to browse our website.