Emergency Room Errors: Premature Discharge
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If proper tests are not done or the condition of a patient is misdiagnosed, he or she may be prematurely discharged from a hospital's emergency room. This can lead to needless additional injury to someone already in a precarious state.
The fast-paced environment of an emergency room can lead to numerous emergency room errors. But there is a high number of reported cases in which an ER physician did not take patients' complaints seriously and/or completely overlooked serious medical conditions.
Emergency room errors that can lead to serious injury due to premature discharge from a hospital include:
- Failure to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack, stroke, or aneurysm
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnose traumatic brain injury
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnose blunt force trauma to internal organs such as the abdomen, liver, or spleen
- Overlooking life-threatening viral or bacterial infection
- Overlooking psychiatric problems that may include suicidal tendencies
- Improperly suspecting a patient of malingering or of "drug seeking behavior"
- Failure to order or properly perform necessary tests
- Failure to make proper referrals for further treatment
An ER physician may be negligent if he or she fails to order the tests of lab work that could detect a serious injury prior to discharging a patient. If you or a loved one is injured due to an improper discharge from an emergency room, you may be entitled to recover damages for continuing treatment needs, pain and suffering, lost income, and/or wrongful death.
Your chances of recovering maximum compensation, however, are greatly improved with experienced representation by a qualified medical malpractice attorney. Your attorney should be able to commit the resources necessary to investigate and document your claim thoroughly. You may also need to act quickly so that your claim can be filed within any applicable statutes of limitations.