Emergency Room Negligence Can Lead to Shocking Errors


May 16, 2011

A visit to a Georgia emergency room can literally mean the difference between life and death, and you have no choice but to rely on medical professionals to provide you with the best care as quickly as possible.

It is usually critical that a serious injury be treated within an hour after a person suffers physical trauma. An increase in time that elapses between a serious injury or serious medical event and treatment can significantly affect a patient’s prognosis.

Today hospital emergency rooms in Georgia and throughout the U.S. are chaotic and teeming with people at all hours of the day and night. However, overcrowded hospital emergency rooms do not justify sub-standard medical care or medical malpractice. The professionals in these settings have a duty to provide a standard of care of similarly situated medical professionals providing emergency room care in the community. Prompt attention and proper diagnosis are essential to the safety of Georgia emergency room patients.

When medical professionals in Georgia fail to provide the standard of care of similarly situated emergency room personnel in the community, the result may be sub-standard treatment, the wrong treatment or no treatment at all. When this occurs, a medical professional and/or hospital may be liable if sub-standard care causes the injury or death of the patient. A patient and/or the patient’s family may be able to recover damages due to medical malpractice.

Some examples of emergency room malpractice include:

  • Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose - Patients are not diagnosed correctly and sent home only to die later.
  • Surgical errors
  • Triage mistakes - The priority of care is not correct so the patient suffers and maybe even dies.
  • Medication errors - The patient is given the wrong prescription or the wrong dosage.
  • Excessive wait times- A patient deteriorates or dies while waiting for a doctor.
  • Failure to order tests
  • Failure to follow up after discharge - No one follows up with a patient, when there is a need to do so, or test results may not be delivered to the patient.
  • Misreading x-rays
  • Misinterpreting tests
  • Inadequate discharge instructions – A patient gets sent home with no clear idea of what they are supposed to do next in regard to their medical problem.

Many people presume that doctors and medical professionals rarely make bad mistakes, but serious emergency room errors are much more common than some realize. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has indicated that over 100,000 people die annually as a result of emergency room errors. Sometimes the types of medical errors that occur in an emergency room defy belief. For example, a New York woman was taken to the emergency room because she had suffered a stroke. She ended up being heavily drugged and transferred to the psychiatric ward where she was kept for days because she was so heavily medicated that she was unable to effectively communicate to staff what had happened.

These are just some examples of medical malpractice that can occur in an emergency room. If you have suffered any of these as a patient in a hospital emergency room, then you could be entitled to compensation. Some of these damages can include:

  • Medical bills
  • Loss of wages
  • Long-term care or disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship or enjoyment of life
  • Funeral expenses

If you or someone you care about has been injured or has died due to an emergency room error, then you need to speak with an experienced Georgia medical malpractice attorney. Our firm helps people who are injured, and we can also help family members pursue claims for wrongful death if someone they love has died in an emergency room due to medical malpractice.

Due to the very complex nature of medical malpractice claims, it is important that a victim of emergency room malpractice hire an attorney to tackle the legal issues and to protect his or her interests. Montlick and Associates has the knowledge and experience you need. We are ready to fight for your rights. Our compassionate and dedicated emergency room negligence attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.


Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.