Emergency department delays can be catastrophic to patients

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

Patients who seek care at an emergency department will likely have something wrong with them that makes them think they can’t wait to get care. Going to the emergency is a toss-up. Sometimes, patients can walk in and be seen right away. Other times, they must wait.

When patients can’t be seen immediately, they go through a triage process. This involves a medical professional, usually a nurse, taking the person’s vital signs and going through their complaints to determine if they have a life-threatening emergency. Some patients, such as those with chest pain or stroke symptoms, are seen very quickly. 

What happens if a person isn’t triaged properly?

There is a chance that a patient might not be triaged properly. When this occurs, medical conditions that can lead to death can be left untreated. That type of negligence can cause the patient to suffer greatly, and it can result in the person dying. 

Many factors can lead to a person not getting immediate care in the emergency department. One of these is improper staffing. Oftentimes, medical professionals prefer to work daytime hours. This makes it harder for hospitals to find people who will work nights, weekends, and holidays. Even when staff members are required to work those shifts, they may call off work. 

Another factor that may play a role in a patient not getting the care they need in the emergency department is that the medical team might be rushed. Additionally, some doctors aren’t well-versed in accurately deciphering some testing, such as imaging scans. This can lead to misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis. 

Anyone who suffers from a missed diagnosis, misdiagnosis or delayed care in the emergency department should determine if the issue led to harm. If it did, seeking compensation for the resulting problems is possible. This includes trying to recover the financial damages that you’re facing because of the issue. 

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