Most times, when you think of medical malpractice, you may envision a surgery gone wrong. The doctor left a surgical implement in someone, or a patient received the wrong blood type during a procedure.
Have you ever thought about what goes on in emergency rooms? ERs are hectic places where doctors use quick thinking and make even quicker decisions to save someone’s life. What if those decisions are wrong?
Types of emergency room malpractice
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are over 130 million visits to the ER every year, so mistakes happen. Some of the most common ER errors include:
- Failure to make a diagnosis, such as missing heart attack symptoms or internal bleeding
- Medication errors
- Calculating the wrong dosage for anesthesia
- Misinterpreting lab results or other test results
- Not referring the patient to a specialist when needed
Elements to prove ER malpractice
To prove an ER doctor made a mistake during your trip to the emergency room, you must show three elements exist.
- A doctor-patient relationship existed at the time of the malpractice. If the doctor treated you, this would establish the relationship.
- Your treatment involved negligence. Negligence happens when a doctor does not provide the quality of care that other competent doctors would in a similar situation. You need to prove that a standard of care existed and that a breach of that standard occurred.
- Finally, you must prove that harm resulted because of the negligence.
If you believe you suffered medical negligence during your visit to the ER, you may have a chance to receive compensation by proving your case.