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What Constitutes Negligence in Emergency Room Treatment?

 Posted on May 30, 2024 in Medical Malpractice

Palatine Medical Malpractice LawyerWhen you visit an emergency room, you expect to receive prompt, appropriate, and effective treatment. However, there are instances when the care provided falls short of the accepted standard, resulting in harm to the patient. When a healthcare provider’s actions or inactions in the emergency room setting deviate from the standard of care and cause injury, it may constitute negligence. An Illinois lawyer can help you determine what negligence in emergency room treatment looks like and what you can do if you experience it.

The Standard of Care in Illinois Emergency Rooms

In Illinois, healthcare providers in emergency rooms are held to a specific standard of care. This standard requires them to possess and apply the knowledge, skill, and care that a reasonably well-qualified emergency room physician or staff member would use under similar circumstances. When a provider fails to meet this standard, and a patient suffers harm as a result, it may be considered negligence.

Examples of Emergency Room Negligence

Negligence in the emergency room can take many forms. Some common examples include:

  • Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis: When an emergency room physician fails to properly diagnose a patient’s condition or delays the diagnosis, leading to a worsening of the condition or additional harm.

  • Failure to Order Appropriate Tests or Interpret Results: If a physician does not order the necessary tests or incorrectly interprets the results, causing a misdiagnosis or delayed treatment.

  • Medication Errors: Administering incorrect medication, dosage, or overlooking a patient’s allergies and drug interactions can have serious consequences.

  • Inadequate Monitoring: Failing to properly monitor a patient’s vital signs or condition, leading to a deterioration in their health.

  • Premature Discharge: Discharging a patient before their condition is stable or without providing adequate follow-up instructions.

Proving Negligence in Illinois

To prove negligence in an emergency room treatment scenario, four critical elements are required. Initially, there must be evidence that the healthcare provider had a duty of care towards the patient. It must also be demonstrated that the provider breached that duty by failing to meet the standard of care. The breach of duty must have directly caused or contributed to the patient’s injury or harm.

There must also be proof that the patient suffered actual damages, such as additional medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or disability. By proving these four elements, a patient can build a strong case for negligence against the emergency room healthcare provider.

Contact a Schaumburg, IL Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Negligence in emergency room treatment can lead to devastating consequences. If you feel you have experience any form of negligence while in the emergency room, work with a Rolling Meadows, IL medical malpractice attorney to see how they can help. Call Newland & Newland, LLP at 847-797-8000 to begin with a free consultation.

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