Emergency Room Error

When you come to an emergency room, you are in urgent need of medical care. You trust that the doctors and nurses who tend to you will properly assess your situation and ensure you receive the care you need to recover. Mistakes in the emergency room can result in serious harm or kill patients.

Despite the high stakes of an emergency room environment, mistakes such as misdiagnosis are not uncommon. They can start as soon as you walk in the door and meet with a triage nurse or after meeting with the doctor. One of the chief causes of emergency room errors are inadequate staffing and pressure to move people through. The patients are the ones who pay the price.

Types Of Emergency Room Errors

There are many ways that medical mistakes or medical malpractice may occur in an emergency room. They include:

  • Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis — Failing to adequately assess a patient, discounting symptoms, ignoring indications and laboratory errors are the most common mistakes made in emergency rooms.
  • Prescription and medication errors — Administering the incorrect medication and incorrect dosages of medications are major problems in emergency rooms.
  • Exposing patients to infections — Hospitals are supposed to be sanitary, but failure to adequately clean rooms and poor sanitation of workers can lead to the needless spread of infection.
  • Patient dumping — Financial and insurance considerations have resulted in patients being released before being adequately diagnosed/treated.

If you were injured in an emergency room by the negligence of the medical staff, talk to an attorney at Martin & Jones. Schedule a complimentary consultation by calling 919-821-0005.


(Cases and matters referenced do not represent our entire record. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer’s or a law firm’s past results. Unless otherwise specified, each of the following matters was contested on liability and/or damages, the opposing parties were represented, the matters involved complex legal and/or factual issues, and the law firm was successful in collecting the amounts stated. Case summaries are from 2000 through the present.)


A 2-year-old girl was treated at an emergency department for high fever and rash. The little girl was sent home without ever seeing a doctor, and two days later she developed full-blown Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and as a result suffered permanent, severe brain damage.