Medical Malpractice: Emergency Room Negligence
New Jersey emergency rooms, or ERs, are a perfect storm for medical negligence. They’re chronically understaffed, which requires surgeons, doctors, nurses and nurses’ aides to work long hours and even a double shift on occasion. On top of that, an ER can be a hectic, chaotic scene where patients arrive unpredictably with various medical emergencies that require urgent vital care.
At the NJ law firm of Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, we have had great success in handling emergency room medical malpractice lawsuits, such as the $2.75 million medical malpractice settlement we obtained for a medical error in which the patient’s X-rays were read incorrectly. This case was against a radiologist, the emergency room physicians, nurses and the hospital for failure to properly diagnose nerve compression due to a shoulder fracture. The delay resulted in permanent nerve damage.
A study by Harvard University of 30,000 hospitals chosen at random revealed that there is a far greater chance of negligence in an emergency room than any other part of the hospital. Usually, this was the result of inexperienced part-time employees who used bad judgment for their diagnoses or who proposed an incorrect treatment.
Incompetence and Long Waits
By their very nature, ERs in New Jersey rely on fast, decisive analysis and treatment. Staff physicians have to treat their patients hastily or refer them to a more experienced specialist. Under time constraints, a percentage of those who rush to their local emergency rooms leave with enduring side effects, including loss of functions, pain or death. If a competent doctor had attended to them, these instances of medical malpractice could have been prevented.
That same Harvard study also stated that people are not getting treated as quickly in emergency rooms as they had in the past. In 1997, patients waited an average of 22 minutes, but in 2012, the normal wait time was half an hour. Patients who presented with a heart attack received treatment in eight minutes in 1997. In 2012, they were forced to wait for 22 minutes. New Jersey emergency rooms have similar wait times which only adds to the possibility of medical malpractice occurring.
Errors Add Up to Negligence
Longer wait times and tired staff members aren’t the only problems. Mistakes also add to the patients’ misery, as any New Jersey emergency room malpractice attorney could tell you. The most common mistakes in an emergency room include the following.
- An incorrect or untimely diagnosis
- Incorrect analysis of patient charts or records
- Tainted blood transfusions
- Misdiagnosis of heart attacks, strokes or other medical conditions
- Insufficient monitoring of the patient
- Incorrect medications
- Administering incorrect medications
- Erroneous, incorrect or faulty lab tests
Emergency Room Medical Malpractice Lawyers NJ
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of emergency room negligence, contact Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman. Our New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers will respond as soon as possible to discuss your medical malpractice case. If you hire us we will aggressively fight for your rights.