Fatigued doctors, nurses, and medical staff put hospital ER patients at increased risk for medical errors. Depending on the type of error and the patient’s condition, injuries can range from mild to severe, even fatal.
Medical Errors in the ER
Doctors, nurses, and medical staff in hospital emergency rooms often work long hours and double shifts that contribute to fatigue and exhaustion, which in turn can lead to a confused mental state that significantly affects motor skills and judgment. These impairments often lead to mistakes and negligent behavior including misdiagnosis, failure to properly inform patients, medication errors, and surgical errors. In an emergency surgical procedure, medical errors can lead to serious complications and sometimes death. More than 200,000 injuries occur from surgical errors each year in the U.S. If a patient is injured or dies due to medical errors, a patient or their family members have the right to file a medical malpractice claim with a personal injury lawyer.
Doctors and other medical professionals usually have standard procedures they follow before, during, and after any medical procedure, and a breakdown in these procedures can lead to injuries. When ER medical workers are overworked and fatigued, such breakdowns and their potentially deadly consequences are more likely. Common ER errors include:
- Medication errors
- Failure to get a patient’s medical history
- Failure to inform a patient of surgical risks
- Failure to properly sterilize instruments
- Performing unnecessary surgery
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Illinois
Illinois hospitals have a duty of care to patients. A patient who suffers injuries due to medical errors can file a medical malpractice claim if they prove that injuries were the result of negligence. If a patient dies due to injuries, his or her family can file a wrongful death lawsuit through a Chicago personal injury lawyer.
The Illinois statute of limitations to file a medical malpractice claim for personal injuries is two years from the date of the injury. If the injured patient is a minor (under the age of 18), the statute of limitations is eight years. If negligence is proven, medical malpractice claims typically result in monetary damages for medical expenses, future medical expenses, physical therapy, lost wages, and emotional pain and suffering. When injuries result in permanent disabilities or fatalities, monetary awards are often substantial.