Emergency Room Neglect and Errors

The Maine emergency room neglect attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates are respected leaders in medical malpractice law. We are dedicated to defending the legal rights of patients injured by emergency room errors. Our firm provides superior legal representation to injury victims across the state of Maine.

70 million patients visit emergency rooms each year. ER patients need critical care: they are prioritized (also known as ‘triaged’) in order of their immediate medical needs. Hospitals frequently seek to increase profits by reducing staffing and, as a result, ERs have long lines of patients seeking treatment. The resulting rush and confusion contributes to the neglect and errors common to ERs today.

Examples of ER negligence include:

  • Substandard nursing care
  • Birthing and delivery injuries
  • Performing the wrong procedure
  • Operating on the wrong patient
  • A delayed response to fetal distress
  • Improper administration of drugs
  • Dropping a patient upon transfer
  • Dilatory response to patient trauma
  • Incorrect use of surgical instruments, and the
  • Failure to diagnose a medical condition

Beyond superficial scars and bruising, ER errors can cause permanent harm. Failing to properly suture a wound can result in the wound re-opening, and a related acute or chronic infection. Mistakes during delivery can cause birth defects and lasting impairments of the child’s motor and cognitive functions. Patients have suffered severe burns from negligent cauterization during surgery. The improper administration of anesthesia or epidurals can cause cardiovascular and pulmonary problems or coma. A failure to properly respond to a victim’s trauma or diagnose a prior condition can result in the patient’s death. In some cases, the surgeon even removes the wrong organ or amputates the wrong limb. These are all preventable errors caused by negligence in the ER.

Medical malpractice law provides a legal recourse for patients injured by negligence. The entire surgical team, including doctors, anesthesiologists, nurses, and technicians, are all held to a high standard of care. All healthcare providers have a duty provide this level of care. Many errors in the ER fall clearly fall below the required standard of care. Negligent surgeons and medical providers that “breach” their legal duty to the patient become liable for any resulting harm. The hospital may also be liable for the negligence of its agents. Because patients do not have a choice except for the ER staff on duty, hospitals can be held “vicariously liable” for damages, even when the patient’s injury was caused by a temporary worker or independent contractor.

If you were injured by ER neglect, the experienced Maine ER error lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates can help. We have successfully handled negligence and malpractice cases, recovering millions of dollars for injured patients throughout Maine. If the explanations of your doctor, surgeon, and chief of staff do not make sense, this does not mean you have no claim. Any error or negligence in the ER is often covered up in the patient’s chart. Hospitals and staff are afraid of legal exposure, and often versed in all the methods to mask mistakes. Refusal to admit fault is essential to avoiding liability and fending off a lawsuit. But the expert medical consultants who work with the attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates specialize in the review of altered medical records and can ferret out any omissions or evidence establishing liability. Call (800) 804-2004 for a free consultation or contact us online.

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