Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer Explains How Emergency Room Errors Can be Caused by Portland Medical Malpractice
People go to the emergency room to seek help when they are seriously ill or injured. While many people receive adequate treatment for their ailment, emergency rooms are often notoriously overcrowded and understaffed, leading to delays in care or inadequate care. When healthcare providers fail to provide patients with adequate care, further harm or even death can occur. Indeed, statistics show that medical malpractice frequently occurs in the emergency room and emergency department, and in other circumstances where there is an ongoing emergency. No person should ever have to worry about the costs associated with an injury or death caused by a medical provider’s negligence. This is why our Oregon medical malpractice lawyer is prepared to help you recover any compensation that you and your family may be entitled to for past, present, and future expenses when emergency room errors can be caused by Portland medical malpractice.
Here at Kuhlman Law, our experienced medical malpractice legal team can help victims and their families recover compensation for their losses caused by a negligent healthcare provider in an emergency room. This includes not just the doctor, nurse, or other medical professionals, but also the hospital, ambulance group, or any other professional practice that also had a part in causing your injuries. Unfortunately, who may be liable is not always obvious without experienced legal help. To learn more, schedule a FREE consultation with our Oregon medical malpractice lawyer in Bend, Portland, or anywhere else in Oregon. We also handle catastrophic injury cases in Minnesota, especially birth injury medical malpractice cases.
Causes of Errors in the Emergency Room
There are many different causes of emergency room errors. While the vast majority of the time an individual never intends to cause harm to a patient, if an error leads to serious harm or death the individual and their family is entitled to compensation for the error made. Some of the most common causes of emergency room errors include the following:
- Understaffing – emergency rooms are often understaffed, leading to unsafe patient ratios and overworked and overtired hospital staff
- Carelessness – When staff members are trying to hurry through tasks to get to the next patient, this can lead to errors
- Overcrowded emergency rooms – Overcrowded emergency rooms often lead to a delay in appropriate care
- Improper triaging – Nurses are specially trained to triage individuals coming into the emergency room in order to identify individuals who need to be seen immediately (I.e. heart attack, stroke, or accident victims). However, there are times when nurses overlook symptoms that a patient is reporting, or fail to appropriately document the severity of their condition. This can lead to serious harm such as permanent injuries, or even death.
- Lack of appropriate training and supervision – As staffing is often an issue in emergency rooms, nurses and other medical staff are often quickly hired, often with little to no experience. While experience isn’t a requirement in an emergency room, appropriate training before an individual should be allowed to treat patients independently should be a requirement. When staffing is an issue, oftentimes nurses and other staff members orienting may be placed on their own or without appropriate supervision, leading to errors.
Errors Caused by Malpractice in the Emergency Room
There are many different errors that take place in the emergency room every day. Some errors may result in no patient harm while others may lead to serious harm or even death. Regardless, there is never an excuse for errors caused by hospital employees relating to patient care. Some of the most common errors caused by emergency room staff include the following:
- Failure to triage a patient appropriately, leading to a delay in care
- Failure to order appropriate testing
- Failure to order appropriate medication
- Administering the wrong medication or procedure on the wrong patient
- Misdiagnosing the patient with an illness or injury they do not have
- Failing to diagnose a life-threatening condition
- Failure to provide care in a timely manner for a life-threatening illness or injury (i.e. heart attack, stroke, or serious injuries caused by an accident)
- Failure to communicate appropriately with other healthcare providers, leading to delays or errors in care
- Failing to practice the five rights of medication, leading to an error
- Failure to communicate critical lab results to nurses, doctors, or other medical staff leading to a lack of intervention or care
- Discharging a patient when they require further workup, treatment, or care, leading to harm
- Failing to provide adequate discharge instructions for patients being discharged
- Mixing up of lab results or scan results of two patients
- Leaving an object inside a patient during a procedure or surgery
- Failing to take a comprehensive health history, leading to missing key information regarding the patient’s condition
Injuries Caused by Emergency Room Errors
There are many different injuries that can be caused by emergency room errors. Some of the most common injuries include the following:
- Medication overdose
- Allergic reaction due to the administration of a drug that the patient is known to be allergic to
- Death due to inadequate treatment, or treatment that is not provided in a timely manner
- Internal bleeding due to inadequate treatment or errors made during a procedure
- The need for surgery due to a delay in treatment with medication
- Infection due to a failure to use sterile or clean technique depending on the procedure
- Progression of cancer if emergency room medical staff fail to diagnose a patient coming in with complaints that need further work up
Who is Responsible for Errors in the Emergency Room
There are many parties who may be responsible for errors that take place in the emergency room. Errors can occur from the minute you set foot in the emergency room, until the point of discharge. Some of the most common parties that are responsible for errors in the emergency room include the following:
- Nurses – This includes nurses who are triaging a patient as well as providing care for a patient
- Physicians and advanced practice providers (PA, NP)
- Individuals working in the lab
- Nursing assistants
- Other hospital employees
Why You Should Hire an Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer
It is important to mention that negative outcomes are not always caused by medical malpractice, and errors in and of themselves do not always mean that medical malpractice has occurred. In order to sue for medical errors that have occurred, the patient must have suffered serious harm or death. If a mistake occurred but the patient was unharmed, they will not be able to file for damages.
However, if you or your loved one suffered serious injuries or death as a result of an error in the emergency room, it is recommended that you speak with a medical malpractice lawyer. This is because it is likely that you will incur significant medical bills and other expenses related to injuries caused by the error. Our medical malpractice lawyers are here to help you recover the compensation you deserve for any past, present or future expenses you may have.
To Learn More About How Emergency Room Errors Can be Caused by Portland Medical Malpractice, Call our Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer at Kuhlman Law
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.