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What Types of Medical Errors Occur in Emergency Rooms?

Posted on: May 17, 2024 | Posted in: Blog
Emergency rooms and medical mistakes.

Millions of people in the US receive treatment in emergency rooms each year. In fact, statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show there were 141 million visits to the ER during 2014 alone. Emergency rooms are a critical aspect of our health care system, but they are also a place where medical errors may occur. Medical errors can be more likely to occur in emergency rooms because staff may spend less time with patients.

Emergency Room Medical Error #1: Diagnostic Errors

Diagnostic errors are the most common type of medical mistake in the US, but they are especially common in emergency rooms. An emergency care physician may spend less time with patients and may not order tests that are necessary to produce an accurate diagnosis.

Heart attacks may be mistaken for gastrointestinal problems. Meningitis could be confused with a migraine or the flu. These are only a handful of examples. A misdiagnosis could lead to a lack of treatment or the wrong type of treatment. Both outcomes could cause further harm to patients.

Emergency Room Medical Error #2: Medication Mistakes

Hospital staff may give patients incorrect medications. This can happen when hospital staff confuse two patients or mix up drugs with similar-sounding names. In other cases, staff may provide a patient with too much or too little medication.

Another common mistake involves incorrectly administering medications. For instance, providing a patient with an IV form of a medication instead of an oral version of the drug.

Emergency Room Medical Error #3: Poor Supervision

There are multiple types of supervision-related mistakes that can occur in an emergency room setting. For instance, emergency physicians must provide adequate supervision to doctors who are undergoing their residencies. Resident doctors may make mistakes due to long work schedules and a lack of experience.

There are also patient supervision mistakes. In these cases, hospital staff may not properly monitor patients. High-risk patients, such as those who are prone to falls, could suffer serious harm if they are not adequately supervised.

Can I Sue for an Emergency Room Medical Error?

You may be able to recover compensation if a medical mistake harmed you or a loved one. The Connecticut medical malpractice lawyers at Walsh Woodard, LLC can help you determine whether it would be possible to file a lawsuit. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 860-549-8440 or describe your situation by using our online case review form. You can read more about our success with medical malpractice cases by continuing to explore our website.

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