When someone goes to a Florida emergency room, of course they expect excellent care during what can be a life-threatening situation. Florida hospitals and healthcare are some of the best in the world. Unfortunately, the busyness of ERs can mean malpractice can happen.
What Is Emergency Room Malpractice?
Doctors are expected to act in a reasonable way when presented with the patient. They have a duty of care to emergency room patients and are to provide them with a reasonable standard of care. When doctors fail to do so by not running required tests or by dismissing a patient’s symptoms, the results can be devastating.
A common type of emergency room malpractice, for example, happens when someone comes into the emergency room with chest pains. In these cases, we would expect that a reasonable doctor would check for a heart attack or cardiac distress. If doctors fail to do so or run the tests in a negligent way, that patient may be sent home, where their chances of surviving their heart attack are much lower.
While many emergency room doctors and nurses provide outstanding care in Hollywood, Miami, and other Florida communities, each year patients are seriously injured or even killed due to emergency room malpractice.
What Injuries Can Result?
Emergency room malpractice, because of the seriousness of symptoms presented at ERs, can easily result in death or serious complications. A woman who comes in during childbirth who doesn’t get adequate attention, for example, can end up losing the baby or her life. The baby can end up with complications or lifelong injury. Someone who comes in suffering from the symptoms of a stroke who isn’t given timely care may experience permanent cognitive and mobile challenges.
In addition to misdiagnosis, emergency room malpractice can include patients getting the wrong dosages of medication, which can result in serious complications and side effects. Emergency room malpractice can also include exposure to chemicals, biohazards, or other dangers that can cause serious injury.
What Can I Do?
To prevent medical malpractice, there are several things that patients can do. First, make sure you’re getting the appropriate level of care. Before heading to the emergency room, ask yourself whether an urgent care centre, your physician’s office, or another facility is better equipped to handle your medical issue. Emergency rooms are very busy and stressful places. Doctors and nurses often work long hours, and their fatigue can contribute to mistakes and malpractice. Getting the appropriate type of care can improve your medical outcomes.
If you do require emergency care, consider taking a friend or family member with you, ideally someone who is familiar with your medical history. This person can help answer questions if you are unable to do so and can take notes about what doctors say so that you get the right information.
If you do have a negative medical outcome in an ER, contact a medical malpractice attorney. Since the stakes are so high with emergency room misdiagnosis and injury, you’ll want to find out what options are available for you. If the doctor acted in an unreasonable way—in a way that another doctor would not have acted—you may have a claim. You may be able to seek recovery for lost wages, medical care, and more.
If you have been injured after visiting an ER and are wondering whether you have a legal claim, call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 to speak to a Florida medical malpractice claims attorney. Or contact us online to schedule a free, no obligation case consultation.