Anytime you walk into a hospital's emergency department in New York City, you can expect to see waiting rooms filled with people. Sometimes their ailments are simple ones, such the flu or an infection that can be easily taken care of with antibiotics. Others may have more severe health problems such as chest pain, equilibrium issues or injuries needing to be treated. Emergency room doctors often try to quickly diagnose a patient and send him or her on their way so that they can see the next one. However this can lead to fatal errors as one woman learned.
When an emergency room makes a mistake in diagnosing a patient's problem, serious repercussions can occur such as severe illness and death. Many times, emergency room mistakes can be avoided if physicians and staff take a serious look at the patient's symptoms. It is furthermore the responsibility of the hospital to contact the patient's family if a misdiagnosis is discovered. This, unfortunately, did not occur in the case of a young boy who died in Queens last year.
Medical malpractice based on errors by doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other staff can pose problems at any stage of medical treatment. However, diagnosis errors or medication errors that occur in an emergency room setting can have a particularly critical impact on a patient's prospects for recovery.