Chicago Emergency Room Errors

Protecting Patient Rights in Chicago & Dyer

A common form of medical malpractice is the emergency room error. Most of us, at one time or another, have had to visit an emergency room. Often, emergency rooms are crowded, chaotic and intense places, with many sick and injured patients clamoring to see the emergency room physician. While this scene may be unsettling, it should help explain why emergency room malpractice occurs with such regularity across this country.

Examples of ER Errors

According to a 2011 Wall Street Journal report, the emergency room is one of the top hospital departments responsible for malpractice suits 1. This same report indicated that diagnostic errors account for between 37% and 55% of these cases.

Some of the more egregious examples of medical malpractice in emergency room include the following cases:

  • An 18-year-old man visited an emergency room complaining of fever and chills. He was sent home with Tylenol. He later died of sepsis, a severe and often fatal blood infection.
  • A 9-year-old girl visits the emergency room with intense stomach pains. Her appendix ruptures after the emergency room doctor diagnosed her with a simple stomachache.
  • A 42-year-old woman visited the emergency room complaining of chest pains. The emergency room doctor discharges her, and she suffers a heart attack just two hours later.

While not all examples of emergency room medical malpractice are quite this severe, these are examples of the types of emergency room errors which occur regularly. Contact a Chicago medical malpractice attorney if one of these happened to you.

Common Emergency Room Mistakes

Because of their very nature, emergency room errors are particularly serious, and can even be life threatening. This is why it is absolutely critical that emergency room doctors and nurses take the required time with each patient to ensure, as much as possible, a correct diagnosis and treatment plan. And while the vast majority of emergency rooms in this country provide excellent treatment, it is apparent that emergency room errors remain all too common.

Some of the more common emergency room errors include:

  • Misdiagnosis of a condition - This form of malpractice can occur when the healthcare professionals in the emergency room simply diagnose the patient with the wrong illness or injury. Obviously, a misdiagnosis can have dangerous, and even deadly, consequences.
  • Prescribing the wrong medication - Closely related to misdiagnosis is another form of emergency room malpractice, prescribing the wrong medication. Again, if an emergency room physician sends you home with the wrong medication, not only will your illness not be treated, the incorrect medication could lead to severe health consequences.
  • Misreading medical records - if an emergency room doctor or other healthcare professional does not take the required time to adequately review a patient's medical records, serious consequences may result. This is yet another common example of emergency room medical malpractice.
  • Failure to timely treat a patient - this form of medical malpractice occurs when the emergency room staff fails to recognize the severity of a patient and to timely treat that patient's condition. This form of malpractice may occur if the emergency room is overcrowded, or if the emergency room is simply understaffed. Regardless of the cause, the failure to timely treat a patient is a form of medical malpractice that is always inexcusable.
  • Discharging a patient who is suffering from a serious medical condition - Again, this form of medical malpractice is related to failure to properly diagnose. If an emergency room doctor improperly diagnoses and then discharges a patient, who is actually suffering from a serious illness or injury, the results can be catastrophic.

Contact a Chicago injury lawyer at Pavich Law Group P.C.!

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of emergency room medical malpractice, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. The Chicago injury lawyers at Pavich Law Group, P.C., have decades of combined experience in prosecuting medical malpractice claims on behalf of our clients. Our attorneys have secured tens of millions of dollars in judgments and settlements on behalf of our clients injured by acts of medical malpractice.

Please call our Chicago attorneys at Pavich Law Group, P.C., for a free consultation.