When you arrive at an emergency room, you expect to receive prompt and professional care. If that doesn’t happen, your current and future health is at risk. While most emergency room visits go off without hitch, there are times when mistakes are made. And depending on the circumstances, this can result in serious injury, illness or even death.
Beware of these errors
You can only do so much to protect yourself when visiting an emergency room, as a large portion of your attention is focused on your ailment or injury. However, knowledge of the most common errors can help you protect yourself.
- Misdiagnosis: In an emergency room setting, doctors are often working fast and bogged down by a large number of patients. As a result, they may rush through your diagnosis and treatment. This can result in a misdiagnosis that puts your health at risk. For example if an emergency room doctor diagnoses you with indigestion when you’re really having a heart attack, it could be fatal.
- Medication mistakes: Should you require medication during your time in the emergency room, you expect your medical team to provide the proper drug at the proper dose. If they make a mistake, such as by giving you too much of a specific medication, it can cause more harm than good.
- Improper discharge: This comes in many forms. For instance, your emergency room doctor may discharge you when they should really be running more tests to determine exactly what’s wrong. Also, if they don’t provide you with detailed discharge instructions, it could cause you to make a mistake with your at-home treatment.
The best way to protect against emergency room errors is to remain as vigilant as possible. By bringing someone with you to the hospital, you’ll have another set of eyes on what’s going on.
In the event that you’re a victim of an emergency room error, seek a second opinion and then learn more about your legal rights. You may be able to take action against the negligent party, including your doctor and/or the hospital facility, which can help you obtain compensation for your injuries and other damages.