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Why do so many emergency room doctors face medical malpractice lawsuits?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2021 | Misdiagnosis |

When patients seek emergency medical care, they’re usually in need of immediate assistance. Far too often, however, mistakes get made that can leave them worse off than before.

The Doctors Company, a medical malpractice insurance company, published a study in 2015 detailing how emergency room (ER) physicians were more apt to face medical malpractice lawsuits than other doctors due to delayed diagnoses, missed diagnoses, mistaken diagnoses and other errors. 

How often do emergency room doctors face lawsuits?

Researchers looked at seven years worth of malpractice claims in their study and noted how 57% of the 332 cases they reviewed stemmed from alleged misdiagnoses. Most plaintiffs claimed that their ER physician failed to consider readily-available clinical information when rendering a diagnosis. Others alleged that their doctor didn’t consider any differential diagnoses before leaping to an erroneous conclusion.

Study authors also found that at least 13% of the plaintiffs accused their ER doctors of improperly managing their treatment. They noted that one patient alleged to have become a paraplegic due to their ER physician’s failure to stabilize their neck following a traumatic accident. 

The researchers also discovered how patients alleged that their doctors performed the improper procedure on them in at least 5% of their reviewed cases. Many of these claims stemmed from poorly performed intubation procedures. 

At least 3% of the patients filing these medical malpractice cases alleged that their ER physician prescribed the wrong medication or treatment for what ailed them — while others received the correct medication but only after an avoidable delay that made the drug ineffective. 

What can you do if an ER visit left you injured?

When doctors make mistakes, people can suffer long-term consequences to their health or even die. If you or your loved one could be a victim of medical malpractice, it’s wise to seek experienced assistance. A Hinesville attorney can help you better understand your options under Georgia law.