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2 ways medical malpractice can occur in an emergency department

On Behalf of | May 15, 2023 | Medical Malpractice |

People visit the emergency department to prevent death or a worsened condition, but many patients leave the facility in much worse shape. Emergency rooms (ER) are often hectic, with medical professionals scurrying to treat the ill and injured.

Unfortunately, such chaos can lead to mistakes that harm the patients who went there for help. Even if the ER is calm and quiet, errors can still occur. Outlined below are two ways that mistakes in the ER can occur. 

Disregarding input from consulted associates

Although you may see only one physician in an ER, others are likely involved with your case. For example, the ER doctor may consult with other physicians or order X-rays and lab tests.

If these consultants uncover something contrary to the physician’s findings, they should reexamine the patient to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. If the doctor sends you home instead and you worsen, it could be malpractice.

Overlooking compartment syndrome in trauma patients

Patients with bone fractures after a traumatic event (vehicle crash, etc.) sometimes develop a life-threatening condition called acute compartment syndrome. It involves the building of excessive pressure within the fibrous tissue (fascial compartment) that binds together muscles and organs.

Since doctors know about this risk in trauma patients, they must ensure it is not an issue before continuing treatment. When acute compartment syndrome goes overlooked, the patient could suffer permanent muscle damage, paralysis or disability and even death.

Those harmed by the actions or inactions of emergency department personnel may recover substantial compensation through a legal claim. To discover if you have a case, learn more about New Mexico’s medical malpractice laws.