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Emergency room errors: Things you need to know

If you visit an emergency room for any reason, you expect to receive fast and efficient treatment that stabilizes your health and puts you on the road to recovery. However, despite your intentions, you never know if a medical professional could make an error that results in additional health concerns.

Here are some of the most common emergency room errors:

  • Misdiagnosis: This is something everyone must watch out for, as a misdiagnosis can result in a serious health setback or even death. For example, if you present with signs of a heart attack and are wrongfully diagnosed with indigestion, the end result could be fatal.
  • Ignoring important symptoms: Do your part in preventing this by sharing all of your symptoms with your medical team. Furthermore, don't downplay anything, as you want your doctor to know exactly what you're dealing with.
  • Medication errors: This encompasses many things, such as prescribing the wrong medication or giving too much or not enough. Before taking any medication, double check with your nurse to ensure that it's the right one.

Why errors occur

You trust your medical team to provide you with top-notch care, but something could go wrong. There are many reasons for emergency room errors, such as:

  • Human error: This one is simple. It comes into play when a medical professional makes a mistake, such as misreading a lab test or ignoring a symptom pointing toward a serious illness.
  • Failure to share enough information: Fortunately, you can prevent this from becoming a problem by sharing as much information on your condition as possible. It never makes sense to hide anything from your doctor.

If you're concerned about an emergency room error, here are some things you can do to put your mind at ease:

  • Visit a hospital with a strong track record for safety and patient care
  • Ask about the experience and knowledge of every medical professional you're dealing with
  • Speak up if you're not getting the care you think you deserve
  • Never hesitate to seek a second opinion

If you or a loved one was the victim of an emergency room error, such as a misdiagnosis, don't wait to seek assistance from a doctor who can review your situation and help stabilize your health. You can then learn more about your legal rights, such as the steps you can take to receive compensation.

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Providence, RI 02903

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