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Phone: (202) 393-3320
Donahoe Kearney, LLP
Call (202) 393-3320
Toll Free (888) 863-0983
Fax (202) 393-3324

Emergency room malpractice can be failing to recognize signs and symptoms of pulmonary embolism, heart attack, stroke, not ordering the proper tests or medication errors. Temporary ER doctors and nurses can increase the risks to patient safety.

Many of us have been a patient (or taken a child or spouse) to an emergency room for treatment at a D.C., Maryland or Virginia hospital.  The whole reason for an emergency department is to evaluate emergency medical conditions - life threatening conditions like pulmonary embolism, heart attack, stroke, serious trauma from accidents, brain injuries and other serious medical conditions and injuries.

Many times the emergency room doctors are "moonlighting" - working at the ER a few nights or weekends in addition to their regular job as an internist or with an HMO, etc. - but they're not on staff or employed by the hospital.   A new study from Johns Hopkins shows that using temporary emergency room doctors and nurses increases safety risk to patients.

After analyzing 24,000 medication errors at 592 hospitals over a 5 year period, the study found that temporary emergency department doctors and nurses were twice as likely to be involved in medication errors.

Medication errors are preventable, of course.  Hospital and medical malpractice happens when the hospital, doctor or nurse doesn't follow established patient safety rules.  And temporary medical staff (which probably costs the hospital less) probably aren't trained in hospital procedures and guidelines or don't know then well enough to quickly and accurately follow them in an emergency situation. 

If you would like to talk about a patient's undiagnosed pulmonary embolism, heart attack or medication error, or other medical mistake, please call us at (202) 393-3320.