Medical malpractice: Emergency room errors do happen

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(Photo credit: Kurhan/SXC)

Doctors and nurses are known to save lives; they handle traumatic cases on a daily basis however like another human being they can make mistakes, however their errors can have devastating consequences that can last a life time.

Unfortunately, errors in the emergency room are fairly common with patients exposed to the chance of four or five procedural issues when they’re recovering from surgery, according to a UK study conducted in a busy, urban teaching hospital. Half of those issues can even impede your recuperation.

One frequent error is when surgeons leave a foreign object in a patient after operating. It’s also common for surgeons to operate on the wrong body part.

Recent studies show that adverse events in hospitals happen around ten to 14 per cent of the time. There’s also a “weekend effect” in Toronto hospitals where patients admitted on Friday to Sunday face a higher chance of death.

While hospitals use surgical safety checklists to ensure that proper steps are followed by doctors and nurses after surgeries, unfortunately 40 to 50 per cent of harmful hospital-related complications are related to being operated on. Checklists that were introduced in 2008 have reduced the number of surgery-related complications and deaths by a third, but improvements continue to be made.

Hospital malpractice suits need to prove that the doctor was negligent when they cared for you. Many malpractice claims came from missed or delayed diagnoses of serious health issues, according to a recent study done by an Ireland Medical School in Dublin that looked at malpractice claims from Canada, the United States, Australia and France. Death was a frequent consequence from these claims.

The most common diagnostic errors were cancer, which were typically breast, colon, melanoma, lung and female genital tract, circulatory system problems, such as a heart attack, appendicitis, ectopic pregnancy and fractures. For children, malpractice claims were typically for cancer or meningitis.

Malpractice claims for drug errors were the second most common reason.

Hospitals are hectic places and while doctors and nurses are only human and bound to make mistakes, you have the right to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit if the harm done against you is legitimate. The personal injury and accident lawyers at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers have been handling all types of injuries for over 40 years including injuries from negligent medical workers. We understand the impacts injuries can have on your life and we know how to help you. Call us at 416-920-4242. Set up a free consultation and come talk with us.

Greg Neinstein, B.A. LLB., is the Managing Partner at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers LLP. His practice focuses on serious injury and complex insurance claims, including motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall injuries, long-term disability claims and insurance claims. Greg has extensive mediation and trial experience and has a reputation among his colleagues as a skillful negotiator.
Greg Neinstein
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