Pediatric Emergency Room Errors in NJ
Hospital emergency rooms are hectic and often highly congested environments, as people young and old seek treatment for a broad range of potentially life-threatening conditions. Sadly, doctors and other healthcare providers may make critical errors in emergency rooms, leaving their patients to suffer the consequences. Children are some of the most vulnerable patients in emergency healthcare settings and unfortunately, can be among the most harmed by negligence. Medical malpractice in the emergency room can happen in numerous ways, from misdiagnosing a patient, to discharging them prematurely or making errors in treatment. From the moment a child is born and even before birth during labor and delivery, they are at risk of serious injury and even death if a doctor or healthcare provider fails to provide proper care.
If your child suffered harm or a serious injury because of misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or inadequate medical treatment in an emergency room or hospital in New Jersey, contact our team for informed legal counsel. We are available 24/7 to provide a free review of your child’s case and discuss your potential lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances, you may have grounds to successfully recover compensation from the hospital or another party for negligence by doctors, nurses, or other medical professionals. Call 866-708-8617 to speak with one of our dedicated NJ pediatric malpractice attorneys today. You can also contact us online for a free consultation.
How do Errors Happen to Children in the Emergency Room?
The potential errors by emergency room doctors and other medical professionals are as varied as the injuries and conditions that can cause a child to need emergent care in the first place. While the specific way that a mistake or series of mistakes happens depends on the facts of your child’s case, there are some general errors in ER settings that occur more often than others. Some of the leading types of emergency room errors that can affect pediatric patients include:
- Communication errors between doctors switching shifts, doctors and nurses, doctors and primary care physicians, radiologists, and lab techs
- Errors caused by lack of proper documentation in a patient’s medical records
- Failure to obtain informed consent before proceeding with surgery or another treatment option
- Medication errors
- Failing to identify an emergency medical condition
- Hospital infections
- Delayed treatment or failure to treat a medical issue
- Nursing errors
- Errors during surgery
- Mistakes with anesthesia
Consequences of Pediatric Malpractice in ER Settings
Medical mistakes happen, and the frantic environment of an emergency room is ripe with potential for these errors. When errors by doctors or other medical professionals happen while diagnosing and treating a child, the results can be catastrophic. Some children suffer serious, permanent injuries and conditions resulting from these mistakes.
For instance, one study examined medical malpractice claims involving children in emergency rooms and urgent care centers over a 15-year period. Researchers sought to better understand how these cases occur, in what medical specialties, and the severity of resulting injuries for pediatric patients. After reviewing over 700 claims involving pediatric malpractice in emergency care settings, researchers ultimately garnered some key insights.
The top reason for malpractice claims on behalf of children treated in the ER was medical misdiagnosis. Delayed admission to the hospital and failure to admit to the hospital was also a source of medical mistakes. The leading conditions resulting from medical negligence were appendicitis, conditions affecting the male genitals, cardiac arrest, and cardiorespiratory arrest, which affects both the heart and lungs. Further, among 728 pediatric patients, malpractice in emergency care resulted in 220 deaths. Many more children were left with serious permanent injuries.
Suing if a Child is Harmed in the Emergency Room
The requirements for a successful lawsuit for pediatric malpractice in the ER or another medical setting are generally as follows: there must be a doctor-patient relationship established, a failure to uphold the standard of care on the part of the treatment provider (otherwise known as negligence), and the patient must have suffered some form of injury.
In an emergency care environment, the doctor-patient relationship need not extend beyond the singular event when medical negligence occurred. In other words, if your child has a pediatrician or regularly sees a general family medicine doctor, there can still be a doctor-patient relationship established when an ER doctor diagnoses or treats your child.
The standard of care refers to the generally accepted form of action or response held by other professionals in the medical community who practice in the same specialty and have similar training and experience. This response or standard is essentially how other medical professionals would have responded when under similar circumstances. If a physician or another medical professional fails to uphold this level of care, he or she is considered in “breach” of the proper standard. In order to win a medical malpractice lawsuit, the breach in standard of care must have resulted in injury, a secondary condition, or the worsening or an existing medical condition.
Get Personalized Guidance based about Your Child’s Emergency Room Malpractice Case in NJ
If you believe that you child was wrongly diagnosed or improperly treated in the emergency room, it is important to find out if you may have a medical malpractice case. Please contact us at 866-708-8617 to discuss your specific situation with a knowledgeable lawyer and learn more about your options. Our New Jersey pediatric malpractice attorneys have extensive experience investigating emergency room errors with children, and pursuing just compensation when doctors and hospitals’ mistakes cause serious harm. You may be uncertain if your child actually has grounds for a lawsuit. We provide absolutely free consultations, so please don’t hesitate to find personalized guidance and answers now.
Resource: “Pediatric Malpractice Claims in the Emergency Department and Urgent Care Settings From 2001 to 2015.”