Seeking Justice For Those Harmed By Inadequate Care In Emergency Rooms
Patients arrive at hospital emergency rooms with a wide variety of illnesses and injuries. The physicians, nurses, and other health care providers at the emergency room are required to use reasonable care in assessing those patients, determining the appropriate diagnostic tests and providing the appropriate referrals.
Unfortunately, patients are frequently rushed through the emergency room without receiving adequate care as inadequate care in the emergency room can lead to catastrophic injury or death for the patient.
How Emergency Room Mistakes Happen
Many cases in the emergency room arise from the emergency room’s doctor’s failure to assume the worst. Chest pain is assumed to be heartburn when the appropriate investigation would reveal an ongoing heart attack. Belly pain is assumed to be indigestion when an appropriate investigation would reveal a ruptured appendix. When a patient presents to the emergency room with symptoms such as these, the emergency room doctor is required to create a list of possible conditions that could be causing the symptoms (called a differential diagnosis) and to take appropriate steps to rule out the most serious and life-threatening conditions first.
That may mean ordering imaging studies such as X-rays or CT scans, or laboratory studies such as blood draws or urinalysis. Emergency room malpractice frequently occurs when doctors fail to perform the investigation necessary to rule out these serious conditions, resulting in a delayed or incorrect diagnosis.
Examples Of Emergency Room Cases
Examples of emergency room misdiagnosis and malpractice cases that our firm has successfully pursued are:
- A woman presents to an emergency room with complaints of severe abdominal pain and is discharged with a diagnosis of constipation. She dies the following day as the result of a perforated bowel.
- A child presents to an emergency room with complaints of abdominal pain and is discharged with no diagnosis. He dies a week later from a ruptured appendix.
- A man presents to the emergency room with complaints of chest pain and is discharged with a diagnosis of gastric reflux. He dies shortly after discharge as a result of a heart attack.
At Garau Germano, P.C., our emergency room negligence attorneys have extensive experience in pursuing medical negligence claims arising from inadequate emergency room care. We strive to hold these doctors and hospitals accountable for errors that have seriously harmed our clients. We take seriously our obligation to protect a patient’s right to receive reasonable medical care in the emergency room.