If you have suffered a sudden injury or illness, you may think of a hospital emergency room as the safest possible place to go. In 2019, the most recent year for which there were statistics, nearly a quarter of all US adults, or 151 million people, had at least one emergency room visit. However, with COVID-19 still raging and hospitals struggling to cope with major injuries and illnesses, emergency rooms remain packed, and healthcare workers are exhausted. Instead of being a refuge, hospitals are increasingly making emergency room errors.

If you have been injured in an emergency room or due to a medical error, it is important to seek proper medical care immediately. Once your health is stable, contact a New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Speaking with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help protect you after you become the victim of common emergency room mistakes. Today, the O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC team will tell you more about what to do if you are injured by emergency room errors. We will discuss how to get the compensation you deserve after becoming a victim of medical malpractice in New Jersey.

When Is it Time to Go to the Emergency Room?

If you are hesitant to visit an emergency room out of fear of emergency room errors, there are still circumstances where you should absolutely seek immediate medical help. The American College of Emergency Physicians recommends visiting an emergency room if you are experiencing any of these 12 conditions:

  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath;
  • Fainting, dizziness, or weakness;
  • Severe chest pain or pressure, including upper abdominal pain;
  • Changes in vision;
  • Uncontrolled or uncontrollable bleeding;
  • Any sudden or severe pain, regardless of bodily location;
  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea lasting for more than 24 hours;
  • Coughing or vomiting blood;
  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings;
  • Confusion or abrupt mental status changes;
  • Difficulty speaking, or numbness or weakness in any part of your body, especially on one side of the body; or
  • Unusual abdominal pain.

While this is a helpful list, it is not exhaustive. Avoiding the emergency room to prevent emergency room mistakes can seriously compromise your health, especially if you are experiencing any one of the above conditions. If you are experiencing a health crisis and are able, ask your doctor or a trusted friend to recommend the best and safest emergency room. 

What Are The Most Common Emergency Room Errors?

Patient Misdiagnosis

Emergency room misdiagnoses are frighteningly common, especially when it involves heart attacks, serious infections, and cancer. Emergency room mistakes statistics show that misdiagnoses in the fast-paced environment of the ER can prove life-threatening, especially when a heart attack or other cardiac event is involved. In the case of a stroke, doctors often have hours or even minutes to administer proper treatment. When a patient is misdiagnosed, it can mean either life, death, or a severely diminished quality of life if the patient survives.

Delayed Treatment

Hospitals are often very busy, which can delay treatment for some patients. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, some patients have been too afraid to visit emergency rooms. Instead, these people often wait to come in until they are so sick that they are truly in crisis. These two different types of delays can quickly make even small mistakes snowball into dangerous ones.

Medication Mistakes

Medication errors can quickly become deadly. In fact, these have been the subject of recent news articles and are some of the most common emergency room mistakes. Medication mistakes can include incorrect dosing, giving out the wrong medication entirely, and failing to provide medication.

Improper Discharge

In busy emergency rooms where space is limited, and patients are not quite sick enough to be admitted to the hospital, it is not uncommon to see patients improperly discharged. This refers to the early release of a patient before they are well enough to leave the hospital. In serious cases, improper discharge can lead to death if the patient depends on emergency room support to stay alive.

Impact of Common Emergency Room Mistakes

If you have been the victim of any of these common emergency room mistakes or others, contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible after your injury. You may be entitled to damages, but New Jersey limits the amount of time you have in which to file a claim. To ensure that you file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, a member of the O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC team can evaluate your case and help you understand your rights.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice refers to any type of negligence that occurs in a medical facility or at the hands of a medical professional. This can include negligence that takes place inside a doctor’s office, hospital, or emergency room and at the hands of medical professionals therein. While many different types of errors can occur in these places, medical malpractice refers to any healthcare mistake that might have occurred because of negligence. 

For example, medical malpractice can occur if a patient was obviously exhibiting symptoms of an illness, but a doctor decided not to perform a certain test that was necessary to diagnose the disease properly. Also, a doctor could have failed to act promptly to treat an illness, or a surgeon could have inadvertently left a surgical instrument inside a patient’s body. Sometimes,  such negligence can make the difference between life and death. 

How O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC Can Help 

If you recently suffered injuries due to delayed treatment, delayed diagnosis, or other medical malpractice in the emergency room, contact O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC today. Our seasoned medical negligence lawyers have more than a century of combined experience. We work with a nationwide network of respected expert witnesses to help present our client’s cases in the most compelling way possible.

To learn more about our firm and to schedule a free consultation with one of our New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys, contact us through our online form.

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