McKeen & Associates, PC
Call Today for a Free Consultation
866-585-1076 | 313-447-0634

Emergency room errors shouldn't happen — but they do

People who head to the emergency room have something going on that requires immediate medical attention. Patients assume that ER doctors are fully capable of making an accurate diagnosis when they arrive.

Yet misdiagnoses in emergency rooms are a real problem. In ER, doctors usually don't have access to a comprehensive medical history for patients. They often have to rely on bits and pieces of information. This, however, doesn't mean that people who seek care in the emergency room should expect serious medical conditions to go untreated.

Errors can be fatal

Some medical conditions for which people head into the emergency room are fatal if they aren't treated right away. These include heart attacks and strokes. Heart attack symptoms differ in men and women, for example, meaning that a failure to account for all symptoms can lead to fatal errors.

All symptoms must be taken seriously until doctors can prove that there isn't anything life threatening going on. These include abdominal or chest pain, rectal bleeding and shortness of breath. In these cases, doctors must ensure that they are working actively to rule out or prove the presence of a life threatening condition.

Possible problems in the emergency room

Not only do emergency room doctors not have a patient's full medical history, they also have the challenge of dealing with a high stress environment that might include more than one patient with a life threatening problem.

Another issue involves diagnostic procedures. Misreading of x-rays or other imaging tests can lead to a misdiagnosis. This is a real concern because some hospitals don't have practices in place to ensure that these are read correctly at the time the patient is in the emergency room. They might rely on technicians or doctors to read them instead of having a radiologist available around the clock to read these tests.

Doctors and hospitals might try to put the blame on patients when an error is made. But under the law, all doctors are held to a specific standard of care. Failure to treat patients according to the accepted level of care in the emergency room can lead to medical malpractice lawsuits. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Consultations | No Fee Unless We Win

Email us or call us at 866-585-1076 to discuss your medical malpractice case. There is no cost, no obligation and never a fee unless we are successful. You have nothing to lose by learning your rights and options today.

Email Us for A Response

Contact the Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Detroit Office
Penobscot Building, 645 Griswold Street, Suite 4200
Detroit, MI 48226

Toll Free: 866-585-1076
Phone: 313-447-0634
Fax: 313-961-5985
Detroit Office Map

Ohio Office
315 East Main Street
Suite A
Ottawa, OH 45875

Phone: 269-220-3379
Ohio Office Map

Phone Numbers