Patients who require emergency room care will often need critical and time sensitive medical care. These patients expect that the medical professions will give them proper care and keep them safe. However many emergency rooms are ill-equipped to provide comprehensive and adequate medical care, due to the overcrowding, financial constraints, lack of resources, and persistent understaffing. There are instances where significant symptoms of serious conditions are overlooked.
Every year there are over 100,000,000 visits to the emergency room every year. This makes emergency rooms very busy places, with doctors needing to deal with a significant number of different patients at the same time. Patients in emergency rooms can wait on average forty-five minutes after arrival before seeing a doctor. Stays in emergency rooms generally last just under three hours. About a third of emergency room visits are for injuries that are obvious. Other patients go to the emergency room for symptoms that are caused by unknown problems.
Patients most commonly go to the emergency room when they experience fever, fatigue, and pain. Unfortunately, even though these symptoms are common they can often be overlooked or even ignored by emergency room doctors, who may:
- Mistake angina for shoulder pain, and fail to diagnose a heart attack;
- Mistake a sentinel headache for a migraine, and fail to diagnose a stroke; or
- Mistake a bowel obstruction for indigestion, and fail to diagnose a bowel perforation.
- Fail to monitor a patient, resulting in that patient possibly having an adverse reaction to medicine or a sudden change in condition may go unnoticed.
- Lack careful hygiene and sterilization, carrying infections throughout the hospital, infecting already seriously ill patients.
Doctors may be in a rush to open beds to other patients. As a result hospitals will sometimes discharge a patient with a deadly condition without providing them with proper treatment. When emergency room doctors fail to diagnose conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, appendicitis, sepsis, cancer, meningitis, and aneurysms, the consequences can be devastating, resulting in serious injury or even death.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of the negligence of a medical professional in an emergency room, contact an experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney to evaluate your case. You may be entitled to recover damages to compensate you for your injury and pain and suffering.
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