A study published by The Doctors Company in 2015 revealed that the types of physicians most apt to be sued were emergency room doctors. While one of the most frequent reasons that they ended up getting sued was because of their delayed diagnoses, there were some other themes that were commonplace when the insurer reviewed seven years’ worth of its settled medical malpractice cases.
Of the 332 cases reviewed, at least 57 percent that were filed were related to diagnoses. Most of them were filed because the emergency room doctor failed to take into account clinical information that was readily available to them when making a diagnosis. A significant number of these cases was also filed because they didn’t offer any differential diagnosis.
Emergency room doctors were accused of improperly managing a patient’s treatment in at least 13 percent of all the reviewed cases. In one instance, the researchers found that one physician’s failure to stabilize a trauma patient’s neck resulted in them becoming a paraplegic.
Another 5 percent of the cases that the researchers reviewed involved a doctor improperly performing a procedure or treating a patient. The number of emergency room physicians who were unsuccessful in their attempt to intubate a patient were most alarming among these incidents.
Doctors failing to prescribe the correct treatments or medication resulted in at least 3 percent of all cases being filed. The researchers also found that there were instances in which patients received the correct medication, just on a delayed basis. This could have ultimately resulted in their condition not improving as much as it otherwise could have.
Patients are generally suffering from a sudden change in their health when they arrive in an emergency room seeking help. While they expect for their doctors to diagnose their condition and help them feel better, this often doesn’t occur.
Individuals whose health has declined due to a delayed diagnosis or treatment should consult with a Tampa medical malpractice attorney who has had success in holding negligent parties accountable for their mistakes.