Emergency room use is rising, but the number of emergency departments across the U.S. is falling, the National Center for Health Statistics says. This has led to crowding in ERs, making these high-pressure environments even more stressful for medical professionals and their patients. Regardless of the stress, emergency room staff members have a duty to avoid mistakes by not rushing or cutting corners when they diagnose and treat patients.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed because of an emergency room error, you have the legal right to hold the at-fault party accountable. To learn how a Chicago emergency room error lawyer at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., can help you, call us today toll free or contact us online. We represent clients throughout Chicago, Waukegan, and surrounding communities in Cook County and Lake County and across Illinois. We can provide a free, no-obligation initial consultation.
Common Errors in Hospital Emergency Rooms
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there are 136.1 million emergency room visits in the U.S. every year. This equates to 45.1 visits for every 100 people in the U.S. Meanwhile, the number of ERs in the United States has declined and led to overcrowding. A new law that guarantees insurance payments for out-of-network emergency services is one reason to believe that crowding in ERs will continue to increase.
Crowding in emergency rooms reduces the quality and promptness of treatment. It’s no wonder that the ER is among the top hospital departments responsible for medical malpractice suits, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report. The WSJ says that 37 to 55 percent of those emergency room negligence cases arise from diagnostic errors.
Other common ER errors include:
- Misjudgment of symptoms
- Delayed diagnosis (for instance, heart attack symptoms are often mistaken for something as minor as heartburn)
- Improper diagnosis by medical staff other than a doctor (such as a nurse, physician assistant or others who do not have the necessary training for more complicated cases)
- Unordered or incorrectly read tests
- Insufficient staff to treat patients and/or monitor patients’ symptoms
- Failure to follow proper medication procedures or maintain sanitary conditions (an Institute of Medicine study found that 90 percent of hospital deaths attributable to medical errors are due to the fact that systems and procedures were not followed)
The fast-paced environment of the ER is no reason to forgive medical professionals, technicians or other staff members who do not follow established procedures or order necessary tests, ignore patients who require treatment or misread reports or symptoms. Such emergency room errors may constitute medical negligence or medical malpractice if a patient is harmed.
An emergency room error attorney with experience in medical malpractice claims can help evaluate the circumstances of your or your loved one’s injury. A lawyer will work with accredited medical experts to evaluate whether healthcare standards were met and advise you of your legal options.
Contact Our Chicago Emergency Room Error Lawyers Today
If you have concerns about the care you or a loved one has received in a hospital emergency room, contact a Chicago emergency room error attorney at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call us today toll free or fill out our online form. We represent emergency room negligence victims throughout Chicago, Waukegan, Cook County, Lake County and across Illinois. There are strict deadlines for filing medical malpractice lawsuits. So, please don’t delay in taking action to protect your rights.