Nobody wants to end up in the emergency room, but for thousands of people each year, this is an unfortunate reality. An emergency injury comes with plenty of stress and fear, and it also comes with receiving care from a team of doctors and nurses you have no relationship with, which can sometimes lead to medical accidents and malpractice cases.
Medical mistakes happen in situations that are high-stress all the time. Is it possible to avoid becoming the victim of a preventable hospital or doctor error? These tips may help.
Bring an Advocate
Not only should you have a source of emotional support by your side at the hospital, but you should also have somebody present who knows your wishes. When you are in pain or simply don't feel well, you need somebody who is going to oversee the situation or at least provide some testimony about what happened.
Prepare a List of Medications & Medical Conditions
One of the best ways to prepare for a medical emergency is to create a small list of the medications you take and the types of medical conditions you have. You should also report the dosage and perhaps when you take these medications. Anything a doctor should know can be placed on one list that you keep in your wallet or purse for emergencies.
Not only does the list tell the medical personnel what conditions you have and how to treat them, but it also prevents chances of drug interactions that could worsen your condition or contribute to additional ailments.
Doctors are educated professionals, but they can make mistakes. They can misdiagnose you or read tests inaccurately. If you feel that something isn't quite right, you have the right to ask for a second opinion from a different doctor. You will not lose anything by speaking to multiple doctors to gain a comprehensive view of your situation.
Many patients report that they feel their symptoms are ignored by the doctor. If you feel this is the case, tell the doctor right away. Ignored symptoms may lead to misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose an important medical condition.
Do you feel that your doctor or nurse is being negligent? You have the right to bring this up to hospital staff or management. Doing so can improve your treatment and perhaps allow management to take note of problems.
Another way to protect yourself is to keep careful notes written about your stay. You can keep track of treatments you received in addition to how you felt after each one. You can keep track of the names of the doctors and nurses who treated you as well.
Everything feels like a blur when you are in the hospital, especially in an emergency. But keeping track of important events that occur during your stay will ensure you have the details correct should you pursue your case in court. Specific details are much more compelling to a judge or jury.
Know the Limitations
Of course, many instances of emergency room errors are simply not preventable. Doctors may simply struggle to process information when they are running close to empty after a night of working. You can be completely vigilant and still suffer from an injury in the hospital.
If you are the victim of an emergency room error and believe you have legal recourse, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. You may be able to sue the hospital or doctor for your injuries, especially if your condition worsens after you received improper treatment.
We at the Hernandez Law Offices understand the difficulties you are facing. If you are ready to stand up for your rights in court, call us today. We are ready to discuss your emergency room injuries.