Many people in the New York City area go to emergency rooms when they suffer serious and potentially life-threatening injuries and ailments that require immediate medical attention. It is a common expectation that emergency room nurses and doctors will provide the proper scope of treatment. The unfortunate reality of emergency rooms is they are often overcrowded and understaffed. Because of these factors and more, emergency room mistakes happen that in some cases lead to death.
Every day, hundreds of people in New York visit their doctor for advice regarding medical problems and to receive treatment for a variety of symptoms. Often, during the course of treatment, doctors prescribe antibiotics and other over-the-counter drugs to assist in the healing of the body. However, medication errors are not unheard of. In fact, they are quite common, and when a patient is not aware of the types of dangers they face when taking prescription drugs, they may be at risk of serious injury or death.
While a majority of medical errors are the direct result of a misstep on the part of health care providers, patients play a critical role in guaranteeing their safety. People in New York who are seeking medical treatment can secure a better defense against the dangers of medical malpractice by maintaining vigilance and playing a proactive role in their health care.
If you have been prescribed a medication to help treat your symptoms, chances are you trust your doctor's judgment and immediately go to pick up your prescription. While it is implied that you can trust your doctor's advice, education and experience, there are times when doctors make mistakes. Prescription errors for example can negatively compromise your physical health and in serious cases cause extended injury and pain. At Futterman, Sirotkin & Seinfeld, LLP, we have helped many people in New York to understand how medical malpractice could potentially affect them.
If your health or the well-being of a loved one has been compromised and you have to make a trip to the emergency room, chances are you are relying on the expertise of qualified health care professionals to prescribe a treatment plan. However, the doctors and nurses who are responsible for treating you and your loved ones are also subject to the risks of making a mistake. Because of the sometimes-chaotic environment of many hospital emergency rooms in New York, communication can fall through the cracks or careless missteps are made which can significantly compromise your safety and health.
Many in New York City may have difficulty differentiating "urgent" from "emergency." Both words denote a heightened level of need and severity. Thus, when one hears the terms "emergency room" and "urgent care center," he or she may believe they represent the same type of facility. Yet they do not. According to Becker's ASC Review, there are currently 7,100 urgent care centers in the U.S., compared to 5,025 emergency rooms. The most obvious difference between the two is location. Urgent care centers are usually found in freestanding clinics, while ER's are located in hospitals (leading many to refer to them as "emergency departments"). A bigger distinction, however, is the type of care each offers.
Cases of medical malpractice lawsuits arising from patients in New York City being misdiagnosed by doctors are not all that uncommon. Yet they may not be representative of the total number of misdiagnosis cases that occur in the U.S. every year. Information shared by CBS News puts that number at 12 million incidents annually, half of which can result in significant harm to patients. Yet are all of those cases examples of doctor negligence? This essentially amounts to questioning whether the law allows your doctor to be wrong once in a while.
One common reason people go to their doctors in New York City is to learn about issues that may increase their risk of developing serious and life-threatening conditions. Patients trust them implicitly with their lives. When doctors and nurses abuse that trust by acting negligently, their patients often end up paying with their health.
You will likely be the first to admit that you do not have the level of clinical knowledge the many doctors practicing in Queens possess. At the same time, those doctors also need to recognize that you are the world's foremost authority on yourself. However, getting both sides to understand that is often difficult. At times it may even seem as though the two of you are not speaking the same language.
One of the consistent complaints that we here at Futterman, Sirotkin & Seinfeld, LLP hear from clients in Queens is that it is so difficult to understand medical jargon. Thus, when trying to determine whether the problems associated with their medical care were indeed due to provider errors, it is often challenging to interpret the information in their medical records. For example, when you think of the word "diagnosis," you are actually thinking of a definitive diagnosis. That is the answer doctors have after doing an actual workup on you. However, it is often difficcult for providers to come to a definitive diagnosis (even with the assistance of diagnostic testing). That is when other types of diagnoses come into play.