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Emergency room errors are a major concern among patients

There may come a time in your life when you need to visit a local emergency room for immediate treatment. It's not something you want to do, but if you're put in this position it's important to do your part in making sure everything goes right.

It's been estimated that roughly 5 to 10% of all emergency room visits are subject to some type of error. This alone should be enough for you to understand the importance of protecting yourself.

Here are some of the most common types of emergency room errors:

  • Misdiagnosis: This is the most common type of emergency room error. It comes into play when the doctor misdiagnosis you with the wrong condition, thus leading to additional health concerns. Heart attack and stroke are commonly misdiagnosed, as they share symptoms with less serious health conditions.
  • Medication error: You trust your medical team to prescribe the right type of medication, at the right dosage. A medication error, such as one involving too high of a dose, can result in serious illness or even death.
  • Ignoring serious symptoms: It's your responsibility to share all your symptoms with your emergency room doctor. It's their responsibility to hear you out and use this information to make an accurate diagnosis. If a doctor downplays alarming symptoms, they could overlook a serious condition.

How to protect yourself against an emergency room error

There's no guaranteed way to prevent an emergency room error, but there are some basic steps you can take to put your mind at ease:

  • Visit a hospital with a good reputation for providing high quality emergency room care
  • Share all of your symptoms with your doctor
  • Share all of the medications you're taking with your doctor
  • Don't be shy about asking about the experience of the doctor that's treating you
  • Ask questions if you don't understand something

It's your hope that any visit to the emergency room is a quick one. However, if you're facing a serious illness or injury, this may not happen.

In the event of an emergency room error, seek immediate medical attention from another provider. Once you understand what went wrong, turn your attention to your legal rights in Illinois and the steps you can take to hold the negligent party (or parties) responsible.

Visit our website for more information regarding emergency room errors and other forms of medical malpractice.

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