Medical malpractice lawsuits which result from missteps in the emergency room never lack for frequency. The emergency room is in a constant state of flux, where split-second decisions are made with regard to viral infections, bodily injury, life-threatening conditions and numerous other mishaps. EMTs — emergency medical technicians — keep the ER well-stocked for doctor-nurse tandems to tackle — a slow night in the ER is a misnomer for a lull in the action, so to speak. The ER medical staff often makes on-the-fly decisions and does not have temporal window-advantage that nurses and doctors in the regular hospital ward do.
An Active Environment
With that sort of frenzied activity, negligence in the emergency room is unfortunate and not unavoidable. Miscommunication between two medical practitioners of any level can result in something minor or major, though any level of bad is never good. Additionally, the long hours and resulting weariness on the part of hospital staffers can contribute to:
- Erroneous medication(s) or prescription(s)
- Improper evaluation of the patient’s condition
- Incorrect treatment due to improper evaluation
- Misappropriation of the patient’s records
- Misdiagnosis of the patient’s condition
These occurrences represent the more common errors connected to a congested work environment. Whatever the cause, a medical malpractice lawsuit is still yet another negative result.
Health Regulations and Safety Hazards
Different factors emerge when the efficiency of an emergency room’s staff is scrutinized. One of the most common factors is a short staff roster due to funding-related cutbacks, i.e. downsizing. Workers also tend to use up sick and vacation days near holidays in order to lengthen breaks away from the workplace. The fewer the staffers, the greater the number of patients under a single worker’s care — and the greatest potential for mistakes.
Other issues can result, such as sepsis or infection within a patient due to tainted instruments or lack of sanitary conditions. Biohazards result from accidental leaks or spreads of bodily fluids made unintentionally convenient by aides who are not as well-versed in preparations and procedures.
The array of undesirable results stemming from faulty emergency room practices ranges from allergic reactions to medications, such as rash and itching, to the most undesirable result: death. In-between is a veritable rogues’ gallery of candidates for medical malpractice lawsuits, including infection, amputation, heart attack or stroke, damage to an internal organ, necrosis of the treated area, and depending on the severity of the symptoms and treatment, brain damage.