Doctors in hospital emergency rooms have only one real job: to figure out which patients have real emergencies — conditions that will kill or cause permanent harm if not quickly treated.
Those patients get sent to specialists for quick treatment.
Everyone else gets to sit around the emergency waiting room for a long time, and eventually sent home, sometimes after treatment that makes them feel better and sometimes not.
Here are the main categories of “failure to diagnose” cases in the emergency room that can end up with malpractice suits in court:
- Aortic aneurysm — aortic dissection.
- Bacterial meningitis.
- Ectopic pregnancy.
- Heart attack.
- Retinal detachment.
- Swallowed foreign objects – special risk to kids from button batteries.
- Testicular torsion.
See our specific web pages on the items hyperlinked above. Here is more information on the others.
- Appendicitis: A burst appendix spills life-threatening bacteria into the patient’s abdomen and causes a harrowing few days as the body fights off the infection. When warning signs were missed, patients and families often want to bring a medical malpractice suit. However, if the patient recovers fully, as usually happens, no real lawyer would pursue the case. As in all areas of medical malpractice, only a serious life-changing permanent injury warrants a lawsuit.
- An ectopic pregnancy is an abnormal pregnancy that occurs outside the womb (uterus). The baby (fetus) cannot survive, and often does not develop at all in this type of pregnancy. The danger to the mother is when the area of the ectopic pregnancy ruptures and causes internal bleeding that can lead to shock. Prompt surgery is important to prevent injury.
Patient Safety Tip: Emergency Room Care: One Last Question
This question can be a lifesaver if you are about to leave the emergency room with a diagnosis of a mild condition, when you went there in the first place because you were worried it might be something serious. Read More…
Consult with an Experienced Malpractice Attorney
If you believe you or a family member has been seriously injured from medical malpractice, medical error, or neglect by a doctor, hospital, nurse, clinic, nursing home or other health care provider, you may want to click here to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney for a free evaluation of your case. You can also email us at email@example.com or call us at 202-742-1500 or 888-625-6635 toll-free. We will respond within 24 hours. There is no charge for our initial consultation.