5 Things to Know Before Visiting the Emergency Room
When a sudden emergency illness or injury arises, our local hospital emergency room is there to provide the care we need. While the doctors, nurses, and other staff members who work in these departments generally have specialized training and access to the latest medical equipment, medical mistakes and errors can still occur. Unfortunately, these mistakes can have serious and potentially life threatening ramifications for patients. We have collected the following tips to keep in mind in the event that you or someone you care about requires emergency treatment.
Common Types of Emergency Room Errors and Mistakes
Studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) charting the quality of care provided to close to 2,000 emergency room patients found that nearly 20 percent suffered some type of medical error or mistake. Among the most common types of errors reported include:
- Failing to properly diagnose medical conditions or injuries
- Providing the wrong type of medicine or in the wrong amount
- Administrative errors, such as failing to consult charts and records
- Environmental factors, including failing to sanitize instruments or surfaces properly
- Dangerous delays in treatment
- Communications errors, such as not providing patients with adequate discharge instructions
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Tips to Prevent Emergency Room Errors
Prevention.com reports that there are more than 130 million emergency room visits each year in the U.S. Whether you are suffering from a potentially life threatening condition or require treatment for a sudden injury or illness, it is important to take steps to ensure you get the quality of care you need. The following outlines five things you should be aware of before going to the E.R. to help make your visit safer and more productive:
- Going by ambulance does not mean you will get care sooner. You will still need to be interviewed by a triage nurse to determine the severity of your symptoms.
- Have your doctor call the E.R. in advance. A call from your doctor informing E.R. staff on your condition and impending arrival makes intake easier and can mean less of a wait.
- Bring any associated paperwork about your condition. Bring information about any diagnostic testing or treatments you have had as well as a list of the medications you are taking.
- Do not exaggerate symptoms in the hopes of getting seen sooner. As a key factor in helping your doctors decide on testing and treatments, you want to be clear and truthful on what you are experiencing.
- Ask questions, and keep track of names and times. Take a friend or family member with you to ensure you get the information you need to hold medical providers accountable for what they say and do.
Contact Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been the victim of an emergency room error or mistake, contact our experienced South Carolina medical malpractice attorneys today. At Anastopoulo Law Firm we act as a strong legal advocate to help protect your rights and interests. We can assist you in getting the compensation you are entitled to.