Valenzuela Law Firm, PA | Trial Attorney
Attorney Henry E. Valenzuela

How emergency room overcrowding result in medical errors

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Overcrowding in emergency rooms is a pressing issue in today’s healthcare. Unfortunately, this chaotic setting can potentially heighten the risk of mistakes made by medical professionals.

Here are situations resulting from overcrowding that can lead to patients suffering from additional injuries, illnesses or even fatalities.

Longer waiting time

Patients in an overcrowded emergency room often have to wait longer for the medical staff to attend to them. This can be particularly detrimental in cases where a quick diagnosis and treatment are critical.

Increased patient-to-staff ratio

When there are more patients than available staff in emergency rooms, it can affect the quality of care the attending medical providers can offer. Medical personnel may have less time to spend with each patient, potentially leading to oversights or rushed decisions.

Accordingly, the high-pressure environment of an overcrowded emergency room can also lead to stress and fatigue for the healthcare providers. This can impair judgment and reduce the ability to make accurate and timely decisions.

Limited resources

Overcrowding can lead to a shortage of available beds, medical equipment and other resources necessary for patient care. This might result in delayed treatments or a lower quality of patient care.

Unclear communications

When an emergency room is overcrowded, communication between staff members can suffer. Doctors and nurses may miss important information or fail to pass medical case details along effectively, leading to errors in treatment.

Errors in documentation

With the increased workload and pressure in emergency rooms, healthcare providers are at risk of making more mistakes in documenting patient information, which can lead to errors in treatment and diagnosis.

Holding the right people responsible

No matter how common these emergency room errors are, any negligence leaving patients needing additional care should not be ignored. Holding the responsible parties accountable can help emergency room error victims get the compensation they need to recover.

Rated by Super Lawyers: Henry E Valenzuela |
American Board of Trial Advocates
The Best Lawyers in America
Board Certified by the Florida Bar | Civil Trial
FindLaw Network