Common Types of Emergency Room Errors

By Greg Kohn

What are my rights if I am injured due to malpractice in the ER?

A trip to the emergency room is always frightening.  Most people enter the ER with serious injuries and illnesses.  Emergency room doctors are trained to skillfully diagnose and treat patients while working in a fast-paced and often demanding environment.  At times, however, critical errors occur that can cost patients greatly.  Emergency room errors can mean the difference between life and death.  Our New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys discuss some of the most common emergency room errors and your rights if you become a victim of medical negligence below.

Serious ER Errors

Errors that occur in emergency rooms across the nation on a daily basis include:

  • Misdiagnosis;
  • Delays in running tests and providing treatment;
  • Medication errors;
  • Mistakes interpreting test results;
  • Not listening to a patient’s symptoms or medical history;
  • Failing to ask a patient about their symptoms or medical history;
  • Handoff errors or errors made during the transfer of patients when work shifts change;
  • Dumping patients (discharging patients due to a lack of insurance).

Of all of these errors, misdiagnosis is perhaps the most common and dangerous medical error that emergency room doctors can make.  Certain conditions, such as a heart attack, stroke, or infection tend to be misdiagnosed at high rates. Errors in diagnosing these conditions can result in severe injury or even death.

Your Rights as a Medical Malpractice Victim

Emergency room errors are often the result of negligent behavior on the part of the hospital or a physician, nurse, or another staff member.  Causes of emergency room errors include overcrowding, staff shortages, lack of equipment or resources, fatigue, and rushing treatment to attend to other patients.  Patients who are injured due to medical negligence may be eligible to obtain compensation from the negligent medical facility or staff member who caused their injuries.

Damages in a medical malpractice suit stemming from ER errors could include coverage for current and future medical expenses, reimbursement for lost wages and loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more. Contact our New Jersey emergency room error attorneys at Nagel Rice for experienced assistance with your medical malpractice case.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.