Harvard Study Finds Emergency Rooms Wait Times Dangerously Increasing

March 2, 2011

The results from a recent study performed by Harvard University concluded that hospital emergency rooms were statically more prone to medical negligence when compared to any other department within a hospital. These findings were released after scrutinizing records from over thirty thousand hospitals randomly selected across the country.

The conclusions drawn from this study strongly indicate that you are much more likely to be a victim of medical malpractice during a trip to the emergency room over any other type of medical visit. The study also found that there are a number of reasons why the emergency room is the prime breeding ground for medical error. A Chicago medical malpractice lawyer can use the findings from this study in evaluating potential cases stemming from emergency room visits.

According to the Harvard study, there are several factors that come into play during an emergency room visit which contribute to the overall likeliness of someone experiencing some form of medical malpractice. The inherent nature of having to wait in an emergency room for an indeterminate amount of time in order to receive medical attention is a major cause for concern. This Harvard study pointed out that wait times in emergency rooms has increased considerably over the past decade. These lengthy wait times can lead to a number of complications that can be attributed to negligence on behalf of the emergency room staff.

The Harvard study also concluded that addition to prolonged wait times the most common complications for patients arose from misdiagnoses and incorrect treatments being administered. Other problems occurred from an improper or an incomplete evaluation of a patient's condition, from a failure to order the right type of laboratory tests, from the wrong medications being prescribed, from complications due to medical allergies, and from a host of other claims of negligence.

While the increased wait times for patients can be viewed as the main contributing factor for many of these cases of negligence, the Harvard study also cites disorganization on behalf of the hospital staff, inexperience staff members, and a heightened sense of urgency as major contributing factors.

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