A person who believes they have suffered malpractice should immediately consult with a diligent ER malpractice attorney who has experience with the type of case that they have. However, not every claim is going to be legitimate. Hearing from the patient and acquiring records are critical in evaluating an Albany ER malpractice case. You should be prepared to answer all questions about the event honestly.

The Basics of Emergency Medical Care

The doctor’s or nurse’s actions immediately upon seeing a patient in the ER are an important factor when an Albany lawyer evaluates a malpractice claim.

If a patient goes to the emergency department complaining of chest pain that is radiating to their back, typically it is either a heart attack or a dissection of the aorta. A dissection of the aorta is a partial tear of the aorta that, if it opens or gets larger, can cause the person to bleed to death. When that emergency medical condition is identified on an imaging study, then surgery on an emergency basis is required. The purpose of emergency medical care is to rule out medical conditions such as a heart attack, an aortic dissection, or a brain bleed.

Another example would be if a patient presents to the emergency department with complaints that they have had a fever of unknown origin for more than a day. Under that scenario, there is a standard protocol involving a basic test to rule out different conditions that might be causing the fever. A doctor might order a urinalysis to determine whether the patient has a urinary tract infection (UTI), which could be the cause of the fever. A UTI can lead to much bigger problems such as inflammation or enlargement of the kidneys called pyelonephritis. If a patient has pyelonephritis, that can result in the complete impairment of kidney function and death.

What is Differential Diagnosis?

With a standard of care based upon the clinical presentation of the patient, certain testing is required to rule out different types of medical conditions. When the patient presents with certain symptoms, the physician would arrive at what is called a differential diagnosis.

Differential diagnosis refers to the different medical conditions that may be causing the patient’s symptoms. They might list three or more possible symptoms and the doctor must determine which diagnoses are the most likely – and are any of them life-threatening?

Any life-threatening conditions must be ruled out by appropriate testing before they can move on to other potential causes of the symptoms.

What a Lawyer Looks for in a Malpractice Case

The first step in evaluating the merit of an ER medical malpractice case in Albany is to take a thorough history or narrative from the patient stating exactly what happened. Next, the lawyer must get a complete set of the medical records from the hospital or healthcare provider to evaluate. Often, these records are different from what the patient claims happened, so it is important to get the real information.

When a lawyer evaluates a medical malpractice case, they base their opinion upon what is documented in the medical record. If the medical record does not substantiate the information provided by the patient, then they likely will not be able to accept the case.

Medical Experts

There are multiple phases to evaluating the records, including making sure all of the records that were requested have been received and then reviewing them with a Board-certified physician who works with the lawyer on a daily basis to evaluate the merit of cases. The physician reports back on whether there was a deviation from good and accepted standards of care. If so, the question becomes whether or not the deviation from good and accepted standards of care caused harm or injury to the patient.

Reach Out to an Albany Attorney to Evaluate an ER Malpractice Case

Many people believe that just because their medical interaction had a bad outcome means they have a malpractice case. This is not always true. There is a lot that goes into evaluating an Albany ER malpractice case, so please call now and consult with a lawyer about your situation.