When a loved one becomes seriously injured or otherwise needs immediate medical care, the typical response is to take them to the closest emergency room in Atlanta. This is always the correct course of action. E.R. medical professionals and doctors are trained to act as quickly as possible to save their patients while keeping them safe and retaining a proper standard of care.
Sometimes, unfortunately, mistakes are made in the emergency room. Understaffing sometimes leads to negligence. Medical errors are rare but happen in emergency rooms across the nation. When negligence or carelessness causes a tragic mistake to happen that leads to further injury and/or even death, we call these cases medical malpractice cases. It’s important to note that with the proper training, staffing procedures, and prevention methods, medical malpractice mistakes can be prevented.
Given the risks of malpractice, there are a few steps you can take to protect yourself or a loved one the next time you need to visit the E.R. during an emergency. Here are 3 ways to protect a loved one from an E.R. medical mistake:
- Let the E.R. team know about any allergies, medical conditions, or adverse medication reactions as soon as possible.
This information can easily be found in your loved one’s medical records, but the medical staff in a busy E.R. may not have time to locate these records before treating your loved one. Get into the habit of being upfront about any conditions, medication reactions, or allergies that may affect the care they receive.
- Carry an up-to-date list of medications your loved one takes.
Along the same lines, make sure to tell the E.R. team about any medications your loved one is on. It’s a smart idea to carry a list of medications for all your family members with you at all times, in fact. You never know when a medical emergency will happen. Such a list can even be placed on your smartphone for quick access.
- If your loved one gets transferred to another unit or hospital, have their primary doctor coordinate a care plan.
Most hospitals will naturally contact your loved one’s primary care doctor before making any transfers or creating a continued care plan, but not always. It’s best to be safe and request the primary doctor’s assistance. In most cases, your loved one’s primary doctor will understand their condition better than an E.R. doctor. Asking for a primary consult during a lengthy hospital stay is also recommended.
- Keep an eye on your loved one whenever you’re able to.
In the chaos of a busy E.R., it may be impossible to stay by your loved one’s side at all times (especially if surgery is necessary), but do your best to stay by their side whenever it’s possible to do so. Keep an eye on the type of care they’re receiving, and report any behavior that seems like a red flag. Does your loved one show signs of being overmedicated or have the nurses stopped checking on them regularly? Speak up on behalf of your loved one if you notice anything that seems “off”.
Also, keep an eye out for any worrying signs in regards to poor hygiene or poor hospital maintenance. These are the areas where understaffing tends to show negative signs early on. Is the E.R. clean? Are medical team members washing their hands like they’re supposed to? Neglect on this basic level can lead to a potential serious problem in an instant.
If any red flags arise during your loved one’s stay in the E.R., don’t hesitate to voice your concerns calmly and politely. Doing so may additionally help prevent mistakes since your concerns will let the E.R. team know just how much your loved one means to you.
If, unfortunately, a Georgia E.R. visit or hospital stay has led to you or a loved one getting injured or harmed and you feel negligence was at fault, you need the help of an Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer who’s on your side. Medical malpractice cases can be incredibly difficult to win in court, but with a skilled and knowledgeable attorney like the lawyers at Bey & Associates, LLC., you can receive the financial compensation and peace of mind your family deserves. Contact us to learn more.