Bickerton Law Group, LLLP

Emergency room errors can lead to serious injuries

No one wants to have to go to the emergency room, but those who go expect the best care and possible outcome. Patients in Hawaii should be aware that medical errors in emergency situations are quite common, and it is important to understand how they occur and what can be done to decrease the incidence of harm.

According to CBS Philadelphia, up to 10% of visits to the emergency room are accompanied by some type of medical mistake, and this can easily lead to serious injury or death when dealing with emergency situations. Some typical outcomes of medical negligence include aneurysm, stroke, infection, internal bleeding and pulmonary embolism. Common emergency errors include:

  • Medication errors - these include giving the wrong medication, overdosing and underdosing
  • Downplaying alarming symptoms - this can lead to delayed treatment or misdiagnosis
  • Misdiagnosis - common conditions that fall into this category include meningitis, stroke and heart attack 

The American College of Emergency Physicians encourages healthcare workers to voluntarily report when errors occur so immediate action can be taken to improve safety. Along with naming solutions for reported errors, a patient safety task force has developed the following principles to enhance ER safety:

  • Funding for adequate staff, educational efforts implementation and information systems integration
  • Collaboration with public and private agencies for patient safety promotion
  • Coordination among staff to reduce overcrowding
  • Regular evaluation of how new implementations are affecting safety and impacting all aspects of care
  • Uniform set of guidelines for all providers and agencies to improve patient safety and quality of care




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