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When patients come into an emergency room, they expect prompt and efficient care. Often when you go into the ER, it is for a life threatening situation, or at least a situation that can't stand to wait. For this very reason, there is a lot of room for emergency room errors. Doctors and nurses, burdened by having to take care of so many people so quickly, can have trouble making correct diagnoses and determining the right treatment. Large problems such as heart attacks can be mistaken for indigestion, and long term problems can be missed as doctors look for immediate causes. Often if these problems were caught upon arrival to the ER, some patients would have a much better prognosis. Not diagnosing a patient correctly can even lead to death. Being a victim of an emergency room error can mean that you have a legal right to compensation or other damages. Make sure to be aware of your rights if you feel that you have been treated wrongly in an ER.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|