Emergency Room Error Lawyers Serving Spartanburg and Greenville, SC
A hospital emergency room should be able to competently treat a patient who comes through its doors, regardless of the patient’s condition. Unfortunately, patients too often are misdiagnosed, given improper medication or exposed to unsanitary conditions. They may suffer severe or fatal injuries as a result.
If you have reason to believe that you or a loved one has been harmed by an emergency room error, the lawyers of Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., can make sure your case is thoroughly evaluated. If an investigation and review of the ER treatment by a medical expert reveals that negligence occurred, you may be entitled to pursue just compensation.
Please contact us today and allow us to get to work on reviewing your case. We serve clients throughout Spartanburg, Greenville and surrounding areas in Upstate South Carolina. Our initial consultations are always free and confidential.
Types of Emergency Room Errors
Many different mistakes can occur in an emergency room. One of the following common errors may have occurred in your case:
- Misdiagnosis – Patients often come to the ER presenting symptoms consistent with a stroke or heart attack. However, they may be diagnosed with a less serious condition such as a headache or heartburn and sent home without the treatment and attention they need. When a stroke or heart attack is not promptly treated, it can lead to tragic consequences.
- Improper medication – A patient may be prescribed and/or administered medication that fails to address their medical condition. Even worse, the patient may be administered a dangerous dose of medication or one that dangerously interacts with other medications the patient is already taking.
- Exposure to unsanitary conditions – A patient may be exposed to harmful bacteria and germs due to doctors and nurses failing to properly wash their hands or to use sterilized equipment.
Causes of Emergency Room Errors
There is no excuse for making preventable errors that harm patients. Some of these mistakes include the failure to:
- Listen to a patient in order to understand his or her symptoms
- Review a patient’s medical history
- Order proper diagnostic tests such as X-rays, MRIs or CT scans
- Read the tests accurately and order proper follow-up tests or treatment
- Communicate a patient’s symptoms or test results during shift changes and patient handoffs
- Follow proper hospital procedures that are aimed at protecting the safety of patients who arrive to the ER.
An underlying cause of these errors may be inexperience.
For instance, errors may be made by medical interns who lack the training to recognize certain symptoms. They may also lack the ability to communicate effectively with patients in order to determine the proper course of treatment. A hospital or clinic fails to live up to the duty of care it owes patients when it fails to provide interns with proper supervision by more experienced doctors.
The increasing use of locum tenens physicians – doctors who work at a hospital or clinic on a temporary basis – is also a concern. Even though these doctors may have many years of experience, they may lack the qualifications to effectively handle the many different types of situations that can arise in emergency care.
Also, due in part to budget constraints, many patients in ERs may receive the bulk of their care and treatment from nurses and physician assistants who lack the skill, training and knowledge of a licensed doctor.
In addition to inexperience, emergency room errors may occur due to the simple fact that doctors, nurses and assistants are fatigued from working long shifts or cannot spend adequate time on each patient’s cases due to understaffing.
Contact an Upstate South Carolina Emergency Room Error Lawyer
The victim of an emergency room error may be entitled to receive compensation for any medical expenses the error has caused as well as for loss of income, pain and suffering and other damages.
At Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, we can put our many decades of combined legal experience to work for you and aggressively seek answers you deserve about the ER treatment that you or a loved one received.
To learn more, simply call or contact us online today and arrange for a free consultation about your case.
Sources / More Information
- Emergency Room Visits, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Doctors in Training Lack Common Courtesy, Johns Hopkins Medicine
- Missed and Delayed Diagnoses in the Emergency Department, Annals of Emergency Medicine
- Should Nurse Practitioners Be Able to Treat Patients Without Physician Oversight?, Wall Street Journal