While emergency rooms may have originally been designed for true emergency care that needs immediate medical attention, they have been increasingly overloaded with patients that have nowhere else to turn for medical assistance. Although most Chicago emergency room doctors and medical staff do their utmost to care for all their patients in a conscientious manner, patients can be overlooked or rushed through medical treatment due to high volumes of patients passing through their doors.
Regardless of the reason, all patients seeking care for a medical condition deserve a proper diagnosis and treatment. When this does not happen, and a patient suffers serious injuries or dies there may be a case for a medical malpractice lawsuit. The experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorneys
at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are committed to protecting your legal rights. Complete our online case intake form and we will reach out to you shortly for a free initial consultation.
Over-Crowding In ER's Resulting Patients Not Getting The Care They Need
The Center for Disease Controls reports that volumes have drastically increased in recent years. Between 1999 and 2009, it is estimated that emergency room visits have increased by 32%, from 102.8 million visits to 136.1 million visits in the United States. This increase is also thought to have affected the amount of time patients must wait to be seen. Just from 2003 to 2009, wait times for medical care increased 25% in ER’s.
The effect of overcrowding and extended wait times has also increased inpatient mortality rates.
A study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine in December 2012 showed a 5% increase in the probability of death for patients
visiting an emergency room on high volume days. In addition, hospital stays were longer for those patients with an overall cost of $17 million attributed to overcrowded ER visits of less than 1 million visits studied.
Medical Professionals Providing Less Care Than Critically Ill Patients Require
The largest concern is that patients are receiving less attentive care when they visit the ER and may not receive the medical treatment they need in a timely manner in the case of an emergency. When hospitals do not have adequate numbers of medical professionals to handle the high volumes entering their emergency departments, mistakes can and do happen. Common Chicago medical malpractice claims that can occur in an ER can be caused by:
- Misdiagnosis. Tired or overworked emergency room physicians may not take the time to correctly diagnose an ailment. A patient may not receive the treatment they need and may even be released with no treatment at all.
- Delayed treatment. A patient may digress while waiting for medical assistance, causing additional harm or even death. This includes delays with time-sensitive information from diagnostic tests in the hospital.
- Inaccurate tests or medications. Rushed procedures in ordering tests or medications may lead to the wrong test or medicine being ordered.
- Protocol not followed. In some cases, a healthcare provider (nurse or a doctor’s assistant) may perform duties that they are not qualified to handle and make mistakes.
Injuries or wrongful deaths that happen due to poor care in the emergency room are not excusable due to high volumes. It is still considered negligence on the part of the hospital or medical facility and the family of the injured may have grounds to file a Chicago medical malpractice suit.
Sample Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawsuits, Jury Verdict Awards & Settlements Involving Room Errors
$4,250,000 Settlement; Emergency Room Malpractice; Cook County, Illinois
The controversy in this medical malpractice suit involved a young boy. He was just two years old. One late night in October, he was running fever, coughing, and showing other signs of sickness. His parents took him to a Southside of Chicago emergency room. The on-call doctors diagnosed him with croup and sent him home once his breathing stabilized. However, his problems returned just hours later. His parents once again brought him back to the emergency room. He did not make it long this time. He died just a few hours later. The parents of the boy brought a lawsuit against the hospital and other health care providers. They alleged that the defendants negligently assessed and cared for their child and breached the standard of care when they delayed providing medical care. They sought compensation for their loss due to this wrongful death. The hospital did not publicly contest the matter. A private settlement was reached for the wrongful death lawsuit for $4.25 million.
$5,500,000 Settlement; Emergency Room Errors; Kankakee County, Illinois
The victim in this case was a young mother. She was just thirty years old at the time of these events. At the end of September in 2013, she delivered a baby. Then, a few weeks later, she began to experience chest pains. Also, her back and other parts of her body ached her as well. She rushed to the emergency room. Doctors and nurses quickly looked her over. They thought she might have had an embolism or cardiac problems. They urgently started to check for those issues. Yet, they did not look at her aorta. Not long after this oversight, she died of a hemothorax. Her aorta had been lacerated and the emergency room staff did not even catch that in their haste. Lawyers for the estate sued the healthcare professionals and the facility itself alleging their medical treatment fell below the accepted standard of care in the State of Illinois. All parties sued for a reported $5.5 million.
$2,250,000 Settlement; Emergency Room Doctor Malpractice Lawsuit; Cook County, Illinois
Here, the parents of a one-week-old rushed their child to the emergency room. The kid would not eat. Also, he was showing signs of fatigues, fever, and other problems. The child stayed in the care of the emergency room staff for almost two days before they realized he had Herpes Simplex Virus with Acyclovir. That delay in diagnosis and medical attention had fatal consequences. He died roughly one week later. His parents believed that had the ER staff acted promptly and appropriately, their child would still be alive today. They sued the providers and facility for wrongful death. They alleged that the defendants’ negligence was the sole and proximate cause of their baby’s death. The defendants did not litigate the matter in open court. They chose to settle and end the dispute. The family received $2.25 million from the defendant's insurance company.
$6,350,000 Settlement; Emergency Room Malpractice; Cook County, Illinois
This ER drama involved an older gentleman. He was seventy-two when he fell down a flight of stairs outside his apartment. Paramedics picked him up and delivered him to the emergency room. However, they did not board or collar him. Staff at the hospital intubated him and put him on sedatives. Yet, they did not collar him either until many hours went by. Doctors performed spinal surgery, but he still became paralyzed. He sued the ER and the city who delivered him to the hospital. His complaint stated that had either party secured his neck sooner, he would not have become a quadriplegic. Both parties denied this contention. They did not present evidence from medical experts dismissing the allegation, however, because the case ended in settlement. The man received $6.35 million-$350,000 of that came from the city and the rest came from the ER facility.
Award Winning Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers Handling Illinois Emergency Room Error Lawsuit
If your family member is a victim of medical malpractice in an Illinois emergency room, you have the right to pursue a medical malpractice case. As with any case involving medical negligence, it is important to have a law firm that is experienced in medical malpractice due to the complexity of these types of cases.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have extensive knowledge in handling Illinois medical malpractice cases involving negligent emergency room care. Our attorneys are considered experts in the field by many colleagues in the legal field. We invite you contact
us to discuss your Chicago emergency room malpractice
case with us during a free consultation. Call today to schedule your appointment.