Doctors, nurses, and even patient's may take pride in the standard of care in our hospitals, but the failure to exercise a degree of reasonable care in emergency rooms happens more often than you might think.
In Nashville, Tennessee, the attorneys of David Randolph Smith & Associates understand that rapid and specific treatment is essential for a patient in a hospital emergency room. However, inaction or inappropriate action ruins thousands of lives every year, and in some cases, results in death. If you or your loved one has concerns about emergency room treatment, our staff of experienced professionals wants to hear from you.
In 2010, for example, Vanderbilt University Medical Center had 102,631 visits.
The high volume of patients, often in critical condition, and chronic staff shortages often plague hospital emergency rooms, creating an environment that is ripe for errors. A Harvard University study (published in the New England Journal of Medicine) of more than 30,000 randomly selected hospital records found that hospital emergency departments have the highest proportion of adverse events due to negligence than any other area of the hospital. Most common were diagnostic errors or mishaps in treatment, largely due to part-time, inexperienced physicians and staff.
Rapid and specific treatment is essential for a patient in a hospital emergency room. Depending on the condition, an emergency room physician may be required to refer the patient immediately to a specialist. In the emergency room, time is of the essence. Some conditions that result in long term pain, disability or death could have been prevented by prompt and competent action by the ER staff and doctors.
According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the Harvard Medical Institute, the amount of time spent in the emergency room has grown by an astonishing rate. On average, half of all emergency room patient's waited 30 minutes or more to be examined by a doctor, a significant increase from a wait time of 22 minutes. Even more shocking, the wait time for serious emergencies has also increased. In 1997, the average wait time for a patient suffering from a heart attack was eight minutes; in 2006 the average time was at 22 minutes, and patient's with other serious maladies were forced to wait around 15 minutes.
In addition to negligent wait times, ER patient's can experience other mistakes and healthcare errors when visiting an emergency room. The most common type of emergency room errors are the following:
- Failure to fully evaluate or treat a patient's condition
- Late or wrong diagnosis
- Faulty laboratory tests
- Contaminated blood transfusions
- Prescribing wrong medication
- Failure to monitor a patient, especially confused patients
If you received the wrong diagnosis or were injured due to the negligence of emergency room doctors, nurses or staff in Nashville, Tennessee or elsewhere, please contact David Randolph Smith & Associates. Our goal is to provide exceptional legal services to our clients. We strive to achieve the highest standard of excellence for the protection of individual rights through team work and the use of our considerable resources and experience.