Many people describe emergency rooms as “controlled chaos.” That may be true, but it’s in the chaos where mistakes can occur. Five to 10 percent may not seem like many mistakes, but when you consider that approximately 100 million emergency room visits happen each year, that statistic translates to approximately five to 10 million times that someone suffers from an error.
Unlike specialists and private practice, emergency rooms across Texas and elsewhere see it all. People are often at their worst when they come in and put their trust into the medical personnel in the ER to diagnose and treat their illnesses and injuries quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, that trust can be misplaced.
What kinds of mistakes happen most often?
Patients could become the victim of a variety of medical mistakes, but the most common include the following:
- Failure to properly diagnose your condition ranks number one in emergency room errors. Conditions such as meningitis, stroke and heart attack tend to be misdiagnosed more often than most. Incorrectly diagnosing you could lead to the wrong treatment, which could include unnecessary surgery and wrong medications.
- Speaking of medications, another common error made in this setting involves the prescribing of drugs. Medical staff could give you the wrong medication or the wrong dosage.
- In their haste to move patients through the system or dealing with the sheer amount of patients on any given day, medical personnel could fail to take your symptoms seriously, which could mean you fail to receive the treatment you need.
As you can see, any of these errors could result in your suffering serious harm. The injuries you suffer could cause changes to your life that last forever. Permanent injuries could restrict or eliminate your ability to work or enjoy activities you used to prior to the harm done to you.
What kinds of options do you have?
Your injuries could require additional, unanticipated medical treatment. Not only could you be out of work for a significant amount of time, but you may also be incurring substantial medical expenses in correcting the errors made in the emergency room — if it’s possible for you to fully recover at all.
You may benefit from an investigation into your situation to determine whether medical malpractice occurred. If your care fell below the accepted medical standards or was negligent, you may have a claim. The problem is that these cases quickly become complex. Failing to follow all of the legalities involved in such a case could jeopardize your pursuit of compensation. You would more than likely benefit from enlisting some legal help.