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Accidents in the emergency room can be devastating

At some point in their lives, most Houston residents will wind up in the emergency room. No one wants to be placed in this situation, but medical emergencies happen. Unfortunately, medical mistakes happen, as well. When mistakes happen in an emergency situation, they can easily lead to serious injury or even death.

Medical mistakes happen frequently in emergency rooms. Many hospitals now advertise shorter wait times for patients in their emergency rooms. But a shorter wait time may mean that they are putting the patients at risk by not evaluating their medical condition thoroughly. When that happens, emergency room staff could miss important medical conditions. Also, a patient can be placed at risk when staff members don't share information with each other, for example, when there is a shift change or if the patient is transferred to another area of the hospital. This change in personnel can allow for a miscommunication between staff members, putting patients at risk.

Digital records are being used in many hospitals, but these can also lead to problems for patients. It can be easy for doctors to enter the wrong prescription for a patient, and sometimes doctors enter information under the wrong name. In emergency rooms doctors are rushed from room to room and these mistakes can happen easily.

Often, medical mistakes aren't discovered until it is too late. Sometimes, a patient dies and that person's family is left wondering what could have happened.

Those who have lost a loved one and suspect that a medical mistake contributed to that person's death may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. An attorney can review medical records and determine what went wrong with the visit. Compensation may be available for unexpected medical expenses, funeral expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.

Source: MarketWatch.com, "10 things emergency rooms won't tell you," Jonnelle Marte, Dec. 10, 2013

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