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Medical Neglect Leads to Emergency Room Changes

Our Illinois medical malpractice lawyers know that using the legal process to hold negligent facilities accountable for their misconduct both helps the victim receive fair compensation and acts as an incentive for the facility to make necessary changes. It is an unfortunate reality that oftentimes the improvements in training, alterations in protocol, and other needed actions to ensure patient safety are not taken until a tragedy occurs which reminds the facility of the need.

For example, the Herald Tribune reported last week on how a case of patient neglect in an emergency room led hospital administrators to demand more emphasis on compassion and empathy. The need was spurred by criticism related to the service provided in the emergency room as compared to the hospital as a whole. There had been consistent criticism of the ER care, but the major changes were not instituted until a case of medical malpractice was publicized involving one pregnant woman who suffered a miscarriage while trying to receive emergency room care.

State officials cited the facility last year for the inadequate treatment that they provided to a diabetic woman who was pregnant with twins when she entered the facility’s emergency room. The woman explained how she was left alone for most of the 10 hours that she spent in the emergency room. In addition, the physician and nurse who were supposed to be providing her care failure to properly monitor her glucose level and blood loss. The medical professionals also paid little attention to pain control measures for the patient.

Following the state report on the matter, the hospital finally enacted changes to the way work is done in its emergency room. The new protocols will involve taking steps to reduce the pain management system for those waiting for care, reducing overall wait times, and improving emergency room staff members’ access to resources. The new pain protocol will involve retraining of emergency room staff by pain specialists and endocrinologists. It also will allow ER nurses to make an initial assessment and begin medication before the patient sees a doctor.

In addition new identification measures for miscarriages will be instituted hopefully to prevent accidents like this one from ever happening again. For example, following the changes, when a patient visits the facility with blood loss in an early pregnancy, the ER staff will call the labor and delivery department immediately for a phone consultation. Then, following testing, the patient’s obstetrician will be notified and consulted. Also, patients who do suffer a pregnancy loss will be informed of the hospital’s programs designed to help those deal with the loss.

The Chicago medical malpractice legal team at Levin & Perconti is proud of the work that we do day in and day out to help victims receive fair compensation for their losses. We are well aware of the changes that are frequently instituted after the legal process is complete which intends to prevent similar medical errors from being made in the future. If you or someone that you know has suffered because of what you suspect is inadequate medical care, please visit our office today and learn how we can help.

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