CHARLESTON, IL EMERGENCY ROOM ERROR ATTORNEYS
An Over 20-Year History Fighting For Patients Harmed By ER Malpractice
We go to the emergency room (ER) in a complicated state of mind. In addition to being injured or ill, we are scared and confused. Most importantly, we are dependent. When we walk in that door, we put our own experiences and everyday knowledge aside and we trust in the experience and knowledge of the physicians and healthcare professionals to take care of us or our loved one. Of course, most of the time, the medical personnel at emergency rooms do everything in a timely and proper manner. Sometimes, despite the very best medical care, death is unavoidable. Sometimes, the medical professionals fail us. When this happens, the results can be devastating. If you received substandard care at an emergency room, Spiros Law, P.C. is standing by to offer experienced guidance. Our Charleston, IL emergency room malpractice lawyers understand what signs to look for in errors or mistakes by emergency room personnel. We expose such errors to help our clients recover maximum compensation for their injuries, working toward a better quality of life.
Contact our Charleston, IL offices today for a free review of your claim. We have recovered millions in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
Procedures & Regulations Are Meant To Prevent ER Errors
The emergency room at a hospital is a stressful place not only for the physicians and medical personnel but also the patients. It is a very fast-paced environment that requires a sharp mind, the ability to multi-task, speed, and proper training. There are regulations in place to protect the injured and the ill. Hospital physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel are charged with following a certain emergency room protocol to ensure that mistakes are avoided. They have a duty to treat medical emergencies in a certain way and when they fail to do so, they may be held liable. While each hospital implements its own individual goals and standards, there are some federal and statewide mandates as well. A hospital is required to evaluate and treat time-sensitive matters, such as potential heart attacks and strokes, within a certain time frame. If a patient presents to the ER with symptoms of such emergencies, that patient is to be given priority. Also, hospitals are not permitted to turn down patients without health insurance if they are experiencing a medical emergency. For example, if a pregnant woman arrives at the ER in labor, but she does not carry health insurance, the hospital must treat her. Even with such regulations in place, we still see medical mistakes.
Reasons Mistakes Occur
Many times, these mistakes are made simply because the hospital isn’t ready for the patient for one or more of the following reasons:
- Failure to have a proper number of doctors and nurses working per shift
- Poor record-keeping
- Lack of communication between the hospital staff and treating physicians/doctors
- Unsanitary working conditions
- Failure to employ competent doctors and staff
- Overworked or overtired staff
- Inadequate training
- Inadequate facility to treat common conditions
Emergency room medical errors can cause varying degrees of harm. The error may lead to a misdiagnosis, a missed diagnosis, ongoing harm, lack of treatment, unnecessary treatment, and even death. When medical personnel fail to properly treat a patient, the harm can be evident immediately or may not be known until after the patient is back at home. Spiros Law, P.C. has handled countless emergency room medical errors cases across Central and Southern Illinois.
Common Types Of Medical Errors In Emergency Rooms
There are various types of emergency room errors we see in our practice. These include:
- Failure to fully evaluate a condition presented
- Failure to adhere to the diagnosis differential
- Failure to stabilize before the transfer of patient
- Failure to treat due to lack of health insurance (Patient dumping)
- Failure to timely treat a medical emergency
- Medication and prescription error
- Surgical errors
- Unsanitary practices
- Wrongful discharge of a patient
- Failure to take a complete patient history
We all realize that sometimes there is simply nothing the emergency room doctors can do for us. Sometimes, despite their very best care, we are left with an unfavorable outcome for us or our loved ones. But when a hospital makes an error based upon one of the above examples, it is medical malpractice. Such mistakes are not supposed to happen.
What Is Patient Dumping?
Patient dumping is an unethical and illegal practice. It happens when a patient needs medical attention at an ER, but because he’s unable to pay or doesn’t have insurance, he’s not admitted. In this case, the patient would have to be driven a very far distance to get to a hospital that would admit him—making his condition worse or life-threatening. Any hospital that receives Medicare funding is not allowed to turn a patient away, no matter if the patient is unable to pay. This is due to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). There are serious penalties for any hospital that violates the EMTALA.
Contact Spiros Law, P.C. For A Free Consultation!
No healthcare professional or hospital wants to admit fault, but if they have failed to provide standard care to an emergency room patient, they should be held accountable. Our Charleston, IL emergency error lawyers recognize the complexity of these claims and take care to provide tenacious, strategic counsel to expose malpractice and present the true value of our clients’ cases.