When Things go Wrong in the Emergency Room

July 31, 2023
2 mins read
When Things go Wrong in the Emergency Room

Medical emergencies are the main reason people go to the Emergency Room (ER). Clinicians are required to adhere to a set protocol. Malpractice, commonly called ER negligence, is a fairly frequent outcome of the frenetic background that characterizes ERs. We look at causes and advise you how to handle malpractice if it involves you as a victim.


Misdiagnosis is a case in which your clinician(s) did not diagnose you correctly. This then leads to a deterioration in your condition. It is the most common mistake made in the ER, and happens to seven million patients annually in the USA. This may occur when the doctor does not check the patient’s medical history and orders tests or prescribes medicine, resulting in harm and cost to the patient.

A misdiagnosis has the potential to pose a severe threat to the patient’s health and wellbeing. It may even cause a fatality. If this has happened to you or a loved one, get a skilled attorney to assess if you have a valid ER negligence case.

No or Slow Diagnosis

Your condition may become life-threatening if it is not diagnosed and treated in time. This falls under medical malpractice. The courts may consider whether another doctor would have been able to diagnose you under the same set of circumstances in time to prevent serious harm.

Improper Patient Discharge

If you are sent home from the ER, only to return because the symptoms have come back or worsened, the clinician who treated you could be guilty of improper patient discharge. When discharging a patient from the ER, the doctor on duty is responsible for giving you further instructions and telling you if or when you need to return or go for some or other treatment. You should also have received a script if you required medication.

Patient dumping is a type of improper patient discharge. This often happens when the ER doctor refuses a patient treatment or fails to transport them to another facility because they don’t have the means to pay for medical care. According to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), there are no circumstances in which a hospital that is funded by Medicare can refuse to help a patient. This is a federal law.

What to do about ER Negligence

If you have been faced with injury due to emergency room negligence, you can put in a claim. It is also possible to seek compensation if a loved one died as a result of negligence in the ER. This will be treated as a wrongful death case. The courts will decide if there is enough evidence to support your claim, in which case they will determine what compensation is to be paid by the defendant. This is to cover medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering, including the emotional component. Seek the advice of a local attorney who specializes in malpractice and wrongful death cases.

Being fairly compensated will allow you to move forward with your life.

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