Jun 19, 2013

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Typical Causes of Emergency Room Error

Stress is perhaps the one thing you will see reflected in everyone’s faces in an emergency room. These include patients, their companions, doctors, nurses and orderlies. The emergency room is by nature a place of tension, and it is perhaps inevitable that the occasional emergency room error will happen even in the best of hospitals in the US.

The standard of care expected in a modern hospital is high, but the emergency room is often the scene of chaos. Doctors and nurses are often rushed when patients needing urgent medical attention outnumber them and mistakes happen. The most common emergency room error is misdiagnosis, closely followed by delayed treatment and failure to order the appropriate tests. Every year, more than 200,000 people die from medical errors, and almost half of those happen in the emergency room.

Causes of Emergency Room Error

One of the most common cause of errors is fatigued and stressed healthcare professionals and support staff. Other causes for emergency room error are:

  • Inadequate resources and equipment
  • Too many patients
  • Not enough staff Inexperienced or untrained staff
  • Not enough beds
  • Failure to follow standard protocol
  • Patient hopping
  • Failure to obtain a complete medical history

While these do contribute to making mistakes, emergency room staff are trained to deal precisely with these problems and take them in stride. There is no excuse for a breach in the standard of care that patients need and expect from healthcare professionals. When an emergency room error leads to unnecessary hardship for the patient, it can render the staff and hospital liable for a medical malpractice suit. If you or someone close to you has suffered injury or death due to emergency room error, you can consult with Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® to get a case evaluation. You may be eligible for recovery of actual and exemplary damages. These kinds of damages can discourage hospitals from allowing dangerous conditions that could lead to these situations to exist in their emergency rooms.

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Jun 11, 2013

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The Importance of Informed Consent

medical malpractice lawyersAccording to the website of the Massachusetts personal injury attorneys of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, every medical procedure, treatment, or medication has their risks and dangers therefore it is important to have you, the patient, give consent before getting these procedures. Hospitals and your physician have the responsibility of informing you how these procedures will be done, the risks that it entails, who will perform these procedures, and possible alternatives that you can choose from. Once these responsibilities are neglected or over passed and you have endured an injury because of the procedure, then you may get the help of medical malpractice attorneys to help file a lawsuit.

Providing important information about the dangers and risks of a specific procedure, treatment, or medication is called informed consent. Before getting these procedures or treatments, you as a patient have the right to be informed about such procedures, and after you will have to sign a consent form allowing the medical professionals to perform the procedure. As an important aspect of a medical malpractice lawsuit, you should understand what the document states otherwise informed consent is not given.

Doctors are not required to talk about all the details surrounding the positive and negative effects of the medical procedure. If the negative effect is not highly possible, they have the option of not discussing it with you. States have different laws regarding which risks should be disclosed, mainly, there are two standards that states to determine this:

  1. Will other doctors disclose these risks?
  2. Will a normal patient choose another option should they be informed of the risks?

There are two exceptions to the rule of informed consent, however: during emergencies (where you are unconscious or when there are time restraints) and the doctor believes you are already in an emotionally fragile state to make a logical decision. If the hospital did not get the informed consent, they can be held liable for damages in two ways: vicarious liability and negligence. If you have been through a procedure without your knowledge or informed consent, then you have the right to contact your medical malpractice attorney to file a lawsuit.

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