Emergency departments (ED) across the country help countless people on a daily basis and are undoubtedly critical to our health care system. However, when a medical professional in an emergency department makes a mistake, the consequences can be devastating. If this has happened to you or someone close to you, you need to reach out to a seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice attorney who can help. With years of experience, we understand how to navigate these complex claims.
A recent study by the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) found that nearly 50 percent of all health care in the United States is delivered in emergency departments. The finding confirms what hospital medical laboratories have known for a long time. UMSOM researchers say their study, which was published in the International Journal for Health Services, is the first study to quantify the contribution that emergency departments make to national health care. Their findings revealed that 47.7 percent of all hospital-associated medical care between 1996 and 2010 was delivered by emergency room departments. In addition, there were about 130 million visits to hospital emergency departments, as compared to the 101 million outpatient visits in 2010.
With such a high percentage of health care being delivered through EDs, it is no surprise that the rate of malpractice is also high in these settings. The American Medical Association estimates that almost half of the 225,000 deaths caused by malpractice occur due to emergency room errors. Emergency department malpractice is a type of medical malpractice that involves improper conduct on the part of the medical professional in the ED. Under Maryland law, malpractice takes place when the medical professional breaches the standard of care, causing injuries or death to the patient. The standard of care denotes the level of care that a reasonably prudent surgeon would have used in the same or similar circumstances.
Medical mistakes in emergency rooms can range in severity. In an emergency room setting, even seemingly minor mistakes can have serious, even deadly results. These mistakes can happen in a number of ways, including but not limited to:
- Errors related to diagnosis (i.e., failing to properly diagnose a heart attack or stroke);
- Triage errors;
- Prescription mistakes;
- Mistakes in interpreting MRIs, CTs, and x-rays;
- Misreading or miscommunicating test results to the patient;
- Using unclean or contaminated equipment; or
- Improper discharge of patients who are seriously ill.
If you have been harmed by a medical error, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the at-fault party. Medical malpractice claims are rooted in the theory of negligence. Negligence is a failure to exercise reasonable care in a medical professional’s actions that causes harm to a patient. Negligence can also occur through an omission to act when there is a duty to do so. In the context of medical malpractice claims, reasonable care refers to the level of care that other medical professionals in the same specialty would use under the same circumstances.
The chaotic nature of emergency rooms can lead to numerous emergency room errors. At Arfaa Law Group, our diligent Baltimore emergency room malpractice attorneys have extensive experience in handling emergency department negligence cases and can apply our knowledge in your case. You can rest assured that we will make every effort to help you secure the compensation you deserve for your harm. Call now for your free case evaluation at 410-889-1850 or contact us online.
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