Some individuals may not have time to wait for an appointment with their primary care physician if they believe that their symptoms point to something severe, like a stroke or a heart attack. It’s not uncommon for individuals to go to the emergency room seeking care in situations such as these.
Timely intervention can be the difference between recovery or death in some cases, so the people working in emergency rooms often have to make life-and-death decisions about the care that visitors receive. Unfortunately, this very flawed system can mean that those in desperate need of medical help get ignored or turned away when they need help the most.
Human error is a big factor in emergency room mistakes
When the emergency room is busy, and there simply are not enough doctors available to help everyone, hospital staff often have to make judgments about every person who arrives at the emergency room.
First, they have to determine how severe the condition is to provide those individuals with immediate care. However, they must also judge whether treatment will make a difference.
In some cases, medical staff might decide that someone who is past a certain age or presenting with such severe symptoms that there’s minimal chance of recovery. Medical staff may prioritize people who have less severe conditions because of this. Other times, the staff may not listen to someone about how serious their symptoms are, leading to things deteriorating pretty quickly for them.
Delayed care can be a life-or-death matter in the emergency room
If you or a loved one experienced a stroke, heart attack or severe trauma, you expect to receive timely care. When medical professionals make you wait so long that things get worse or they turn you away, the outcome could be more brain damage, more long-term consequences or even death.
Anyone harmed by emergency room mistakes may need to file a claim against the facility for medical malpractice in the emergency room. An attorney can advise you whether your case warrants you doing so here in Jacksonville.