ERNST & YOUNG
The emergency room is filled with a lot of chaos that increases the chances of errors. Therefore, medical professionals in these emergency rooms are given slight margins of error. But, this shouldn’t be an excuse for medical malpractice. All harm that patients suffer from low-quality care during ER treatments still falls under medical malpractice.
It is, therefore, vital to ensure you and your loved ones are protected against medical practice in the ER Yes, it is almost impossible to predict when medical errors can happen in the emergency room. However, there are ways to avoid dangerous doctors and unsafe medical practices. Below are the top five tips for protecting your loved ones against medical malpractice in the E.R.
1. Understand the Types of Medical Mistakes and Errors in the Emergency Room
As stated earlier, the emergency room can be filled with a lot of rush and chaos. Therefore, it will help to understand the dangerous mistakes that medical professionals can make during this commotion. After all, doctors are human – they also get stressed, tired, and overworked.
As a basis for protecting your loved ones against medical errors in the emergency room, here are a few common scenarios that can lead to medical malpractice and injuries:
Long Wait Time
Miscommunication by the hospital staff due to several reasons, including fatigue, could lead to a poorly managed emergency room. Patients, therefore, find themselves waiting for hours to receive medical attention. Symptoms tend to worsen when a patient is left sitting unattended for long periods. It could result in the death or injury of your loved one.
Misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and failure to give a diagnosis are among the most common emergency room errors. For instance, a severe heart attack gets misdiagnosed as indigestion. Equally, an infection can always be misdiagnosed as the common flu. These diagnostic errors can lead to missed or delayed treatment, thus resulting in serious injuries.
Poor organization, lack of communication, and patient info mix-up can cause dangerous medication errors. For instance, a doctor might prescribe an incorrect dosage or wrong medication to a patient. This can lead to severe side effects and even death in some instances. An overwhelmed healthcare provider may also fail to recognize adverse reactions to prescribed medications, thus endangering the patient.
An emergency room doctor needs to order the right tests to better care for patients. Failure to order appropriate tests could lead to misdiagnosis or untimely diagnosis. The medical professional must get the correct scans, tests, and x-rays.
2. Ask the Right Questions
Taking your loved one to the emergency room is never a fun experience. The chaos and emotion of the moment can be overwhelming for every one of us. However, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to maintain an objective mind.
For starters, you need to ask the right questions to protect those close to you from medical malpractice. Some of the most important questions to ask to include the following:
- What is the problem?
- Who is handling the procedure?
- What medical procedures or medications can help?
- Are there possible alternatives to the prescribed medication?
- Are there any risks involved?
- Does the treatment interfere with other medications?
- What are the possible side effects?
3. Vet the Surgeon
The emergency room is full of skilled physicians, nurses, radiology technicians, and so much more. Luckily, you already asked who was handling the procedure. Therefore, you can start vetting them to ensure they are the right fit for your loved one.
Visit the Federation of State Medical Board (FSMB) website and navigate to their DocInfo.org search function. Here, you can key in the doctor’s name and get all their qualification information. It includes a physician’s education background, board certifications, states with active licenses, and any cases of medical malpractice.
The good news is that you can always ask for a doctor’s change if you notice any red flags with the assigned physician. It is a step that will save you a lot of headaches in the long run. You will also feel at ease when you have confidence in the emergency room doctor handling your loved one’s case.
4. Carry Your Doctor and Pharmacy Contacts
Your family doctor has all the necessary background information on your loved one’s health. They know all their underlying conditions and which drugs can affect them. Therefore, always have the contact information of your doctor with you. These include his or her email, phone number, and fax number.
Do you have several physicians that prescribe medication for your loved ones? Well, it will also help to have the contact information of every one of them. These doctors will help by providing a prescription drug history. Do not forget to add your pharmacy contact details as well.
5. Speak Up When Things Don’t Seem Right
The emergency room can be chaotic for everyone, including healthcare professionals. Therefore, mistakes are bound to happen every so often. For instance, a doctor might unknowingly grab a different patient’s file when caring for your loved one.
Ensure you try and control the chaos as much as possible by focusing all your attention on your loved one. Doing this can help you point out common errors such as miscommunication. Ensure you speak up should you have any concerns – however little they might be. It will also help to ask questions about medications and procedures should you not fully understand them. The more questions you ask, the better care your loved one will get. It also helps reduce the chances of mistakes.
Our Emergency Room Negligence and Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help
Our skilled and experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Weltchek Mallahan & Weltchek can help you get justice if you suspect your loved one is a victim of emergency room errors. We work round-the-clock to ensure you get the justice you deserve. After all, nothing matters most than protecting those close to you. Ensure you contact us today to speak to a medical malpractice attorney.
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Have you or a loved one been injured due to negligence? We want to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you believe you have a case; time is an important factor. Interested in learning more? Get in touch with us so we can better evaluate and serve your needs in getting the justice your loved one deserves. You may very well be entitled to compensation.
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