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Is the hospital’s emergency department safe?

During a serious health event, you should not hesitate to seek medical attention, and you want to be able to trust the doctor who treats you. According to the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association, although emergency department staff and health care providers have specific training for the hectic conditions that are often present, there are distinct risk factors to seeking care at the ER. In some cases, a physician who drops the ball may be guilty of negligence, but you may be able to mitigate the potential for a mistake.

Every doctor who examines you has a duty to provide the best level of care possible. If you are harmed because you did not receive the attention or treatment that any physician would have reasonably given, it may be a breach of duty. In that type of situation, the person responsible for your harm may be at fault.

When you visit the ER, the physician who sees you will probably not be your regular doctor, and he or she may not have immediate access to your records. Since diagnostic errors can be a major problem in the emergency department, you should communicate any previous or current health issues to the best of your ability.

Sometimes, the results of tests may not be available right away. It is all too easy for test outcomes to fall through the cracks when results are delayed until after you have left the hospital, especially when there is an indication of an issue that has nothing to do with the reason you are at the ER. You should follow up with these to make sure that all of the results are communicated to your provider. This information is for your education, but it should not be considered legal or medical advice.

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