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.

PATIENT SAFETY RULES

Every hospital, HMO and doctor's office is supposed to follow basic patient safety rules.

Like all of us - bus drivers, accountants, construction workers, lawyers, we all have rules to follow.  And nurses, doctors, hospital techs, specialists, consultants are no different. Everyone in healthcare has rules to follow - rules that are in place to keep patients safe.

So if you think someone you know was seriously injured because someone in healthcare didn't follow the rules, or a hospital didn't have a system to make sure the right thing was done, call us or send us a confidential email.  We'll give you as much information as we can about preventable medical mistakes in D.C., Maryland or Virginia and holding the healthcare system accountable for breaking the rules.

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.