Emergency room errors are very common and often result in death or worsened outcomes. The main reason emergency room errors are common is the nature of the emergency room, a high volume, fast-paced environment, coupled with lack of training, inadequate staffing, etc. In many cases of emergency room error, the patient or their family will never even discover that an error was made.
There are three common mistakes made in emergency rooms across Pennsylvania:
- failure to diagnose/misdiagnosis, such as failure to diagnose a stroke,
- medication mistakes, including dosage errors, and
- negligence in reading test results, such as an angiogram.
Not all medical mistakes cause harm. In an emergency room malpractice lawsuit in Philadelphia, the plaintiff or family of the deceased bears the burden of proof meaning that they must be able to prove that the emergency room hospital committed negligence and that negligence caused some harm, like a worsened outcome.
Proving malpractice involves hiring an expert in the field of emergency medicine. That expert reviews the medical records and then offers an opinion on whether the emergency room committed malpractice. The emergency room malpractice laws of Pennsylvania require that the expert certify that there was malpractice in a given case. Known as a “certificate of merit,” this important document is a verification that an expert in the same field has reviewed the case and has found negligence.
If there is a viable claim of malpractice, the next step is determining whether that negligence resulted in harm. If a medical mistake occurs, but there is no resulting harm, there is no case.
Related Legal Article: Proving Emergency Room Mistake & Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania
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If you’d like a NO-COST review by our Philadelphia hospital emergency room lawyers, call 215.925.4451. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation.
The lawyers at Schwartz & Blackman handle cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area:
- PA: Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Norristown, Philadelphia
- NJ: Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Camden, Cherry Hill, New Jersey shore cities
*This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is important to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
Published: May 24, 2012