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Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP

Emergency Rooms and Common Types of Errors

While those who are facing a health emergency seek ER care in hopes of quick and effective treatment, the truth is that many emergency room errors occur every year on Long Island and across the United States.

While some emergency room errors may be minor and have no long-term implications, many are serious, and in some cases, even deadly. The following considers some of the most common types of emergency room errors. If you have been harmed, a Long Island medical malpractice lawyer from the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP can help.


Misdiagnosis refers to a health care professional’s failure to properly diagnose a condition a patient is suffering. Misdiagnosis can be dangerous for two primary reasons:

  • First, it allows the undiagnosed condition to remain untreated, potentially worsening with every second that treatment is not provided.
  • Second, it often means that a patient undergoes treatment for a condition which they do not have, which can mean use of medications, surgical intervention, and more. These treatments cannot only be physically taxing and expensive for a patient, but dangerous in some cases as well.

According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, strokes and heart attacks are among the most common misdiagnoses.

Medication Errors

When a medication error is made, a patient can suffer greatly. A medication error may include the following:

  • Incorrect dosage
  • Incorrect medication
  • Failure to give medication at all

The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention states that a medication error is “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer.”

Improper Management

Improper management is one of the most common types of emergency room errors. Improper management may refer to a wide breadth of issues, including:

  • Improperly handling a patient’s chart
  • Failing to obtain a patient’s medical history before making diagnostic or treatment decisions
  • Failing to have the right equipment necessary to treat a patient
  • Lack of staffing
  • Miscommunications among staff
  • Delays in treatment
  • Improper documentation and more

Improper management may mean that a patient does not receive timely care when he or she is suffering from an emergency health problem, that the patient receives the wrong type of care, and, ultimately, that the patient experiences an adverse event due to improper management of his or her case.

Who Is Liable for Emergency Room Errors?

Emergency room errors may be the fault of multiple parties. While an individual nurse or doctor may make an error, the error may not have occurred but for emergency room policies and practices, such as an inadequate staff-to-patient ratio. When an emergency room error has harmed you, a medical malpractice attorney can help you to explore liability and file an appropriate claim.

At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, our Long Island medical malpractice lawyers can work with you to file your claim in a timely manner, and will represent you during every step of the process. To schedule your free case consultation with our experienced lawyers today, use our online form to contact us now.

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