We typically think of hospital emergency rooms as the best place to get medical care when serious injury or illness suddenly strikes. Indeed, in 2016, there were 146.5 million emergency room visits in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control.
But, unfortunately, with chaotic waiting rooms packed with sick and injured people, overworked doctors, nurses and medical staff, and the inherent difficulty of quickly assessing patients and obtaining their complete and accurate medical history, the ER is frequently the site of medical errors.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s online information service MedLinePlus, you should go to the emergency department or call 911 for help for problems such as:
A study conducted of 1,935 patients at an academic emergency department found that nearly 20 percent of them fell victim to medical errors. Ninety eight percent of the errors did not have a significant adverse outcome. Patients involved in errors were more likely to be older and more likely to have higher visit level intensity than registered emergency department patients.
Overall, 250,000 people in the U.S. die each year because of medical mistakes, rendering them the third leading cause of death in the U.S., following heart disease and cancer, according to a study by Johns Hopkins University.
If you believe you have been injured by a doctor, nurse or other hospital or emergency room staff member, it is important to consult with an attorney immediately to ensure that your legal rights are protected. “When an ER physician fails to adhere to well-established standards of care, a trip to the emergency room can change from a life-saving to a life-altering event very quickly,” Feldman Shepherd co-managing partner Mark W. Tanner said. “Over the past three decades, we have investigated thousands of these cases, and with an ER physician on our staff, we are uniquely positioned to assist those families who need us.”
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