Emergency room patients can experience long wait times to be treated. This can be due to overcrowding. This overcrowding can not only be inconvenient for patients, but may also be harmful. It has been found that on an emergency room’s busiest days there is higher inpatient mortality risk and higher costs. As a result, patients find themselves receiving lower levels of care, increased likelihood of medical malpractice and doctor error.
There have been times where emergency rooms have been so full that ambulances have been turned away. Additionally, there can be an increased risk of death prior to discharge when the emergency room is overcrowded. Should a patient be admitted to the emergency room during a busier time, they can face longer stays and higher costs of admission. There is also a decrease in the quality of care a patient will receive.
When there is a delay in necessary care in cases such as heart attacks, where timely care is important, there is increased risk to the patient. Also, patients already in the emergency room may not receive the attention they need when new patients are being evaluated. Delay in care can also be caused by understaffing in the emergency rooms as the number of patients is larger and sicker than ever before.
With the increased number of patients each doctor is caring for, there is a greater chance that they will make mistakes. Doctors and nurses in emergency rooms have reported that there are times when they have a hard time remembering the details of individual patients. It is therefore more likely that mistakes, such as overlooking a symptom, misreading a report, or prescribing the wrong drug, will be made. This means that more patients could be injured due to the overcrowding of emergency rooms.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an emergency room due to negligence of a doctor or other medical professional, contact an experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.
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