Denver Emergency Room Error Attorneys
Illnesses and injuries can occur anywhere, at any time, which means emergency rooms need to be ready to field hundreds of patients at the drop of a hat. But few are. Healthcare professionals in a busy emergency room may fail to properly assess all of a patient’s injuries or may prescribe a medication without checking a patient’s current drug regimen and allergies. These errors leave patients worse off than when they arrived in the ER.
If you believe a doctor or nurse made one of these errors during your emergency room visit, you should reach out to an experienced attorney for help. Our team at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. has handled many similar cases and is prepared to give you the support you need. Call us today at (303) 759-9945 to talk to an experienced Colorado medical malpractice lawyer in a no-cost consultation.
If you suddenly become sick, or suffer debilitating injuries due to a crash, you don’t visit your general practitioner – instead, you call for an ambulance to take you to the emergency room. There, doctors and nurses can give you a proper examination, determine what is wrong, and treat your condition. That may require medication, surgery, or a stay in the hospital.
However, emergency rooms are often poorly managed and overrun with patients, especially in high-population areas. This chaos can contribute to mistakes. When mistakes are made in emergency rooms, they can devastate already vulnerable patients.
The emergency room is a natural contributor to the poor quality of care patients receive. A recent study, published in De Gruyter’s Journal Diagnosis, found that 45% of all ER errors could be chalked up to doctors’ and nurses’ poor decision-making. This means that even when ER doctors are given accurate and timely information, they still make the wrong choice for treatment. However, that does not mean they should be “let off the hook” when they make a serious error, as those mistakes can cost people their lives.
Medical professionals are held to a higher standard, because when they make a mistake, a patient could develop a serious illness – perhaps kidney failure, which will require a transplant or dialysis for the rest of the patient’s life -- or die. There are several emergency rooms errors that are more common than others:
Delay in treatment: A seemingly minor injury, like a bite from a small dog, can turn into a serious problem when not treated correctly. Even a small dog has dangerous bacteria in its mouth, and without treatment, the patient can develop a deadly infection. Medical professionals must be able to spot illness and injuries that could become serious and treat them quickly.
Laboratory errors: Oftentimes emergency room staff will have to send tests to labs within the hospital to determine what is wrong with a patient. If the lab mishandles the test or returns incorrect information, it could lead to a misuse of medication, or a delay in treatment.
Medication errors: The wrong medicine will make a patient sicker, or even cause death. In fact, some patients are allergic to certain medications and ingredients, so if they are not given the correct medicine, they could have a severe allergic reaction.
Incorrect diagnosis: What is wrong with a patient? It is a doctor’s job to find out. The diagnosis helps other medical professionals administer the proper treatment, ensuring that the patient recovers. However, when a diagnosis is incorrect, then the treatment will be incorrect as well, meaning that the patient will not be getting the help he or she needs.
Improperly trained staff: Doctors and nurses study hard to earn their licenses, and for good reason. When medical staff are not properly trained, they can make serious mistakes, such as misreading a chart, giving the incorrect medication, or even discharging a patient before he or she has been properly assessed.
Improper discharge: Some hospitals are quick to release patients. This may be because a patient cannot afford treatment, because a staff member did not believe a patient was actually sick, or because a patient was improperly diagnosed and is presumed to be healthy when he is not. When a patient is discharged, he or she will no longer be given medical support, and it could result in the development of a serious illness, or the worsening of injuries.
As with any form of medical malpractice, emergency room errors are not acceptable. If you have suffered an emergency room error, under the law, you have the right to file a claim against the liable parties and receive proper compensation.
Emergency room errors are considered medical malpractice under the law. In order to prove medical malpractice occurred, you must prove that the doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional was negligent. A negligent medical professional is one who failed to use reasonable care in treating a patient, resulting in damage to the patient. There are three elements required to hold a doctor legally responsible for a patient’s injuries:
- The doctor-patient relationship existed
- The treatment involved negligence
- The patient’s injury was a direct result of the negligent treatment
Proving the first element is fairly easy, as there should be documentation listing who give you medical care while you were at the emergency room. Proving the next two elements can be more difficult and requires evidence. Finding evidence and properly documenting it can be a long process; one you should not have to worry about while recovering from injury. Your best bet at having a successful claim is to work with a lawyer skilled in medical malpractice claims.
If you put your life in the hands of a medical professional in the emergency room and were injured further, you deserve to be compensated for the damage to your quality of life.
The top trial attorneys at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. have the knowledge, experience, and resources to best tackle medical malpractice cases. We do the research, consult with medical experts, and work to ensure that you receive the damages you need to get your life back on track. We won’t let a hospital use "emergency room chaos" as an excuse for poor care.
There is no charge for an initial consultation with Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. To speak with an experienced ER error attorney about your potential case, please call (303) 759-9945.