Going into the emergency room is always a stressful event. You know you need medical attention and depending on the severity of that need, you could be there for the next several hours. You may think that you’ve done all you need to do, but it’s important to stay sharp in an emergency room. Articulating your symptoms and a strong knowledge of your medical history could help you avoid a mistake in the E.R.
But this all isn’t on you. The trained professionals should be the ones making sure they’ve diagnosed you correctly and are given the right treatment. If you or a loved one has been injured because of an E.R. mistake, you can contact the Law Office of Todd W. Burris for legal aid. A Lexington medical malpractice lawyer will look at your case in a free consultation and help you recover damages for your injuries.
What Mistakes Can Happen?
It is possible for doctors to make mistakes in the E.R. that could have repercussions on your health. Even if you have a doctor that doesn’t miss anything, the facility may not have the best leadership and isn’t run well. All the following can cause a mistake:
- Misdiagnosis. A doctor may not add up the symptoms and figure out what’s ailing you, but most doctors in their position would have been able to.
- Not Recognizing Symptoms. For serious, time-sensitive conditions like heart attack or stroke, doctors need to recognize the symptoms and being treatment immediately.
- Misreading Tests. Your doctor could misread an X-ray or MRI scan and not see a crucial detail that shows what’s causing your symptoms.
- Understaffing. It’s possible that the E.R. doesn’t have enough people to properly treat the number of patients in a timely manner.
- Unsanitary Conditions. Many people who go to the E.R. may have compromised systems, so a dirty and germ-filled E.R. could cause sickness or infection.
What Can You Do?
While you can’t completely stop a mistake from happening, you can take steps to prevent one. Before you need an E.R. visit, take some time to research hospitals and see which ones around you provide the best care.
- Call 911. First responders will take all your medical history and won’t be in the distracting environment of an emergency room. Misdiagnosis can occur when doctors have an incomplete medical history.
- Call Your Primary Physician. You can tell your primary doctor that you’re going to the E.R. so they can be in contact with the doctors working with you. They have a better knowledge of you and your medical history than the E.R. doctor who is meeting you for the first time.
- Be Honest. If you’re feeling pain or discomfort, don’t try to tough it out or wait for it to get better. Inform the doctor about how and what you’re feeling so they can get a clear picture of what could be causing this.
The prospect of a physician making a mistake can be scary, but if this happens you don’t have to go through it alone. An attorney can give you peace of mind that you’re not responsible for this and can fight to get compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.