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Minorities and Emergency Room Treatment in Philadelphia

Phil Blackman-Pennsylvania New Jersey Personal Injury LawyerPublished on behalf of Philip Blackman, an experienced personal injury lawyer who has devoted his entire career to helping individuals and families who have been injured due to medical malpractice, car accidents, fall accidents and more. FREE Consultations: 215.925.4451

It is no news that the low income population and minorities receive lower quality medical care in this country. Multiple studies and books have reported on this tragic phenomenon. From access issues to cultural and language barriers, there are multiple explanations. However, regardless of the reasons, the end result is that minorities experience a greater percentage of medical negligence than non-minorities.

According to May, 2012 research conducted by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, African American victims of cardiac arrest receive CPR and AED less often than whites. Unfortunately in cardiac arrest or heart attack situations, having the heart restarted is a key indicator for survival. In fact, with each minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, a heart attack victim’s chances of survival drop by 10 percent.

In hospital emergency room or clinic situations, minutes or even seconds can make all the difference. This phenomenon is compounded by another issue: minorities experience longer wait times in emergency rooms than non-minorities. According to a 2009 research study conducted by a team at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and published in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine, African Americans wait an average of one hour longer than the national average of 349 minutes.

These two studies shed light on a dirty secret of the health care system and emergency room care in this country. Minorities such as African Americans, especially in large cities like Philadelphia, experience lower quality medical care and longer wait times in the ER. In emergency situations, such treatment and waiting times may translate into negligence or malpractice.

This is especially problematic for undocumented residents or immigrants without legal status. Minorities without legal residency status who suffer medical negligence do not come forward, or in cases of death, the deceased person’s family does not come forward for fear of being deported.

What many “illegal aliens” do not know is that if they or a loved one was a victim of medical negligence, they are entitled to pursue a legal claim. There is no requirement that a plaintiff be a citizen or even someone with legal residency status. Medical malpractice is medical malpractice regardless of whether the victim is a minority, low income, or in the U.S. illegally.

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If you’d like your case reviewed by our lawyers, call 215.925.4451. The emergency room malpractice 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.

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