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Why are there medical errors in emergency rooms?

When you go to the emergency room, it's under the impression that you are very ill or badly hurt. Most people wouldn't turn to the emergency room without good reason.

America's emergency rooms are in a state of chaos, many believe. The trouble is that long wait times, "boarding" and nonemergency visitors can lead to patients going without appropriate care. That means that some patients wait for hours in pain, while others are hurried through the ER without a proper diagnosis.

The burden on the medical professionals working in the ER is high, primarily because they cannot refuse to serve anyone. Even if a patient comes in with a simple cold, they still need to be seen. That delays care for other patients and potentially takes up space for patients who need beds in the hospital.

Why are misdiagnoses a problem in emergency rooms?

When a patient comes into the ER in a true state of need, the clock is ticking. Doctors and nurses have to make assessments while tending to the patient, and that means that there could be a tendency to work through trial and error.

Some conditions present with similar symptoms. For instance, a migraine may present with similar symptoms to a seizure or a stroke. However, treatments for each of these conditions vary significantly, and the wrong treatment could delay the medical care the patient needs.

If you're hurt because of rushed care, know that the law is on your side. A proper diagnosis may take time and deep thought, but it is worth the time it takes.

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