Usually, if you are a patient in a hospital emergency room, you didn’t plan on being there. You may be in the emergency room because you were involved in an auto accident or a work-related accident or because you had a sudden heart attack or a stroke. The emergency room can be a hectic place. The emergency room doctor’s job is to quickly and efficiently diagnose the patient’s medical problem and either treat the problem or refer the patient on for safe and appropriate care. Sometimes that involves admitting the patient to the hospital and calling in specialists.
In the emergency room, proper diagnosis is critical because that determines the course of the patient’s medical care. All too often, patients are discharged from the emergency room with out complete examination or without the appropriate testing. Sometimes, a patient is discharged from the emergency room when he or she should have been admitted to the hospital for care by a specialist.
Whenever we review a case involving emergency medical malpractice, we carefully examine the emergency room’s medical records and the results of tests or x-rays that were done. We consult with doctors who not only work in emergency rooms, but who also teach emergency medicine resident physicians.