Medical Malpractice in the Emergency Room? Learn About Liability from Emergency Department Mistakes in Bend, Oregon
People go to emergency rooms to seek help for a serious illness or injury, yet there are times when they don’t receive the help they came for. Sometimes, instead of medical staff treating their illness or injury, they make the injury or illness worse. While some victims are fortunate enough to suffer no long-term harm, other victims may sustain permanent injuries, or the mistake may lead to wrongful death. When a medical staff member makes an error that results in the harm of you or your loved one, you may be eligible for financial compensation for any damages sustained. Indeed, emergency department mistakes in Bend, Oregon can result in serious, disabling, permanent, and even fatal personal injuries. Unfortunately, our experienced medical malpractice lawyers knows that most of the patients who are victims of this type of medical malpractice may suffer for the rest of their lives.
Here at Kuhlman Law, our compassionate and experienced team knows how dangerous it can be for a patient when emergency department mistakes in Bend, Oregon occur during their emergency room visit. Victims and their families may suffer from catastrophic and devastating errors such as a misdiagnosis, delay in treatment, unnecessary amputation, and other significant medical errors. To learn more about your rights to compensation and how our medical malpractice lawyer in Bend, Oregon can help you and your family, contact us today to schedule a FREE consultation.
What Does an Emergency Department Do?
Most people call it an emergency room or ER, but it is now more generally accepted and called an emergency department or ED, this part of a hospital is a specialized department that provides immediate medical care to individuals with acute injuries or illnesses. Specifically, the role of an emergency department is to:
- Triage: The emergency department utilizes a triage system to prioritize patients based on the severity of their condition. This process helps ensure that individuals with life-threatening conditions receive immediate attention, while others are attended to based on the urgency of their medical needs.
- Medical Assessment: Qualified healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and physician assistants, assess patients to determine the nature and severity of their conditions. This assessment may involve taking a medical history, conducting physical examinations, ordering diagnostic tests, and interpreting results to make informed decisions regarding appropriate treatment.
- Treatment and Stabilization: Emergency departments provide necessary medical interventions to stabilize patients in critical condition. These interventions may include administering medication, performing emergency procedures, managing pain, providing respiratory support, controlling bleeding, and immobilizing fractures.
- Emergency Care: Emergency departments are equipped to handle a wide range of medical emergencies, including trauma cases, cardiac emergencies, respiratory distress, severe infections, allergic reactions, and neurological events such as strokes. The staff is trained to respond quickly and effectively to such emergencies to maximize patient outcomes.
- Coordination and Referrals: Emergency departments collaborate with other hospital departments and healthcare facilities to ensure comprehensive care. If a patient requires specialized treatment, surgery, or ongoing care, the emergency department facilitates referrals to the appropriate healthcare providers.
How Can Emergency Department Mistakes in Bend, Oregon Occur?
The above are the most common duties and tasks of an emergency department. Although most facilities aptly perform these duties, some do not. And the opposite incidents of these are the most common ways that medical malpractice in an emergency department can occur. That is, when a hospital fails to triage, provide competent medical assessments, treat and stabilize, provide emergency care, and properly coordinate care and refer patients, there could be serious problems.
In instances like this, contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Bend, Oregon like ours to protect your rights to compensation. There are many common causes why this might happen, which include many prevent errors.
Causes of Emergency Department Mistakes and Preventable Errors
There are many different causes of emergency room errors, with most of them being due to negligence. Some of the most common causes of emergency room negligence include the following:
- Lack of adequate staffing
- Overpopulated emergency rooms
- Lack of adequate training of medical staff and other staff members
- Errors in the intake and triage process on arrival
- Inadequate staffing protocols
- Inexperienced physicians or other advanced practice providers
- Inexperienced nursing staff
- Inexperienced clerical staff (even clerical staff should understand certain protocols for patients in need of emergency treatment)
- Flawed policies and procedures
- Lack of concern on a medical provider’s part
- Dismissing patient’s concerns
- Failing to assess or treat a patient in a timely manner
- Medical equipment failures
- Staff distractions (i.e. cell phones)
- Lack of adherence to infection control policies
- Other causes of emergency room medical malpractice
Examples of Negligence-Related Emergency Department Errors
There are many ways in which negligence can cause harm to patients seeking help in the emergency room. Some examples of this include the following:
- Delays in providing treatment to a patient
- Delays in performing a test on a patient (i.e. blood work or imaging)
- Anesthesia errors
- Development of infections caused by lack of appropriate infection control procedures
- Mixing up of two patients
- Misdiagnosing a condition (i.e. heart attack, stroke, cancer, aneurysm, or other serious condition)
- Administration of the wrong medication
- Administration of a medication the patient is known to be allergic to
- Improperly triaging a patient resulting in a delay in care or treatment of the wrong condition
- Death caused by a delay or misdiagnosis
- Death caused by administration of the wrong treatment
Conditions That Are Commonly Misdiagnosed or There is a Delay in Diagnosis in the Emergency Room Resulting in Harm
People go to the emergency room for treatment of a variety of conditions, with some being more life-threatening than others. A delay in diagnosis or treatment or mistreatment of some conditions can result in serious, permanent, or life-threatening injuries. Some examples of conditions that are commonly misdiagnosed or there is a delay in diagnosis resulting in harm include the following:
- Heart attacks
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Aortic dissections
- Pulmonary embolism
- Blood clot
- Crush injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Failure to diagnose internal bleeding
- Internal bleeding
- Allergic reactions
- Spinal cord injuries
- Other conditions that can lead to serious harm or death if not diagnosed and treated appropriately in a timely manner
How to Prove Medical Malpractice Occurred in the Emergency Setting
You may not immediately realize that you or your loved one suffered negligent care while in an emergency room if harm did not immediately occur. In other instances, you or your loved one may have suffered serious harm at the time of the emergency room visit. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the harm, it can be difficult to prove that negligence lead to you or your loved one’s harm. This is why it is important to work with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who understands how to navigate your case given your circumstances and prove that harm was a direct result of negligence. There are four elements of medical malpractice that must be met in order to successfully pursue a lawsuit. If even one of these elements is not fulfilled, then you will be unable to recover the compensation you deserve. The four elements of medical malpractice include the following:
- Duty – The medical provider or entity had a duty to provide care to the victim
- Breach – There was a breach of that duty
- Causation – The breach of duty lead to injuries for the victim
- Damages – The injuries resulted in damages for the victim
It is important to also note that proving emergency room medical malpractice is often more difficult than other types of medical malpractice. This is due to the fact that there is an emergency doctrine given that the circumstances in an emergency room are often to provide urgent medical treatment, allowing for a larger margin or error given the urgent nature of needing to provide care. However, this does not mean that it will be impossible to prove that you or your loved one was a victim of emergency room medical practice. Rather, it is important to make sure you are working with an experienced emergency room medical malpractice lawyers who understands the challenges of proving emergency room negligence and has been successful with other cases of this nature.
Damages for Emergency Room Medical Malpractice Victims
Victims who were injured by medical malpractice resulting from emergency room negligence may be eligible for damages. Damages are typically awarded in the form of compensation. Damages commonly awarded to victims and their loved ones who have suffered harm as a result of emergency room negligence include the following:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
- Home and vehicle modifications
- Funeral and burial expenses (if applicable)
- Other damages for emergency room medical malpractice victims and their loved ones.
If You Were Injured by Emergency Department Mistakes in Bend, Oregon, Contact Us Today for Help
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or wrongfully killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.