Spotlight on Preventable Emergency Room Errors

When you go to the emergency room, it’s only natural to assume that you will be well taken care of by conscientious care providers. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen—and even experienced healthcare professionals can make them. In fact, emergency room errors are far more common than you might assume. These are some of the types of preventable emergency room errors that are most likely to occur.

Medication Errors
In the atmosphere of an emergency room, it’s entirely possible for medication errors to happen—and the results can be serious. A patient may receive a dosage that is too high, one that is too low, or even the wrong medication entirely. If you’re not getting the correct level of medication—or worse, a medication that isn’t intended for you—it can make your condition worse.

If you aren’t properly diagnosed when you get to the emergency room, you won’t get the treatment you need. Here’s a possible scenario: A patient’s appendicitis is mistaken for ordinary stomach pains, and he or she is prescribed medication and discharged instead of an emergency appendectomy to avoid a burst appendix and possible sepsis.

Misreading Test Results
When a test is given to you at an emergency room, it’s important that the staff reading it does so properly. Tests are essential for determining the nature of your condition so you can proceed with the appropriate treatment. If your test results are misread or misinterpreted, and you are discharged from the emergency room, it can result in serious injury or even death.  For example, if a radiologist fails to read a chest X-ray properly that shows developing pneumonia, and you are discharged without proper medication, it can lead to sepsis and even death.

If you are concerned about a misdiagnosis or possible medical error, contact the law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC in New York. For 45 years, we have advocated for people of all ages, in order to help our clients financially and make healthcare safer for everyone. You can reach us today by calling (516) 684-2900.

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