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  • Ross & Beckman, PLC.

Not all emergency room malpractice involves physical errors

When you hear about medical malpractice, you probably envision a doctor operating on the wrong body part or leaving a tool inside an incision. While these errors are certainly egregious and preventable, some mistakes that lead to patient harm revolve around information processing, especially in the emergency room (ER).

According to a study published on the Science Daily website, medical mistakes result in about 250,000 U.S. deaths each year. The study supports the growing belief that the way patient information is processed plays a role in malpractice.

How can problems with patient information cause injury?

Health care providers rely on what they see to help them treat patients. For example, say someone comes into the ER with a bone sticking out of their leg. At first look, a doctor can reasonably deduce that the patient has a compound fracture. However, the physician also needs accurately processed information to support the initial diagnosis.

When doctors and ER personnel fail to process patient information correctly, treatment errors occur. The study revealed that the following informational errors contribute substantially to medical malpractice in the ER:

  • Problems processing information about patients

  • Problems verifying information gathered about patients

  • Inadequate knowledge related to patients

  • Inadequate information collecting techniques

The study also indicates that misjudging the significance of patient information and making hasty or incorrect diagnoses remains among the top problems in ER malpractice.

Victims and their families may need to dig deep when identifying the cause of their ER injuries. We also urge you to consider obtaining legal guidance if you believe your injury occurred due to medical malpractice but are having trouble finding proof. You can find more about medical malpractice claims by continuing to review our blog and website.


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