Emergency Room Negligence
Emergency Room Malpractice Attorneys in New Jersey
New Jersey emergency rooms are a perfect storm for medical malpractice. They are chronically understaffed, which requires surgeons, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals 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.
A study by Harvard University of 30,000 hospitals chosen at random revealed that there is a far greater chance of emergency room negligence than in 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, emergency rooms 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 ER leave with enduring side effects, including loss of function, pain, or death. If a competent doctor had attended to them, these instances of 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 twenty-two minutes, but in 2012, the normal wait time was thirty minutes. Patients who presented with a heart attack received treatment in eight minutes in 1997. In 2012, they were forced to wait for twenty-two minutes.
Errors Add Up to Negligence
Longer wait times and tired staff members are not the only problems a patient may encounter in the emergency room. Mistakes may also add to the patient’s misery. 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.
At Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, we have had great success in handling emergency room medical malpractice lawsuits, such as a $3.5 million settlement for failure to diagnose a condition which led to a stroke and the $2.75 million settlement we won for a medical error in which the patient’s x-rays were incorrectly read. This case was against a radiologist, the ER physicians, nurses, and the hospital for failure to properly diagnose nerve compression due to a shoulder fracture. The delay resulted in permanent nerve damage.
Emergency Room Malpractice Cases in NJ
If you or a loved one were harmed due to emergency room errors, contact Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman. We represent clients throughout New Jersey and we will respond as soon as possible to discuss your case.