Mistakes In The Emergency Room: Medical Malpractice


Every medical setting in which a doctor-patient relationship exists, medical professionals must treat the patient as would any other reasonable and prudent medical professional under the circumstances.  Even though treatment at an emergency room is quick and commonly involves patients and professionals who don’t know each other, the nurses, doctors, technicians, and the like must still provide competent care.

Experienced medical malpractice attorneys know that many different types of emergency room staff owe you medical care that conforms to the medical community’s standard of care.  Moreover, hospitals with emergency rooms implement specific procedures and protocols that when followed promote competent patient care in conformity with the standards of the medical community.  New York State government also sets standards for emergency room care.

The New York State Department of Health has the power to regulate the quality of hospital emergency services through regulations set forth in Part 405 of Title 10 in the Codes, Rules and Regulations of New York State.  Specifically, 10 NYCRR 405.4 states, “medical staff shall establish objective standards of care and conduct to be followed by all practitioners . . . [that is] consistent with prevailing standards of medical and other licensed health care practitioner standards of practice. . .”.

Moreover, 10 NYCRR 405.19 governs emergency services.  This regulation requires hospitals to implement policies that manage the quality of emergency services.   Here is a partial list of requirements that emergency rooms must follow:

  • The emergency room must be directed by a licensed physician board certified in emergency medicine.
  • A licensed physician board certified in psychiatry must be staffed in an emergency room.
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support training is required.
  • Emergency rooms must be equipped with X-ray equipment.
  • Child abuse and/or neglect must be reported by emergency room personnel.
  • Patient transfer policies must be developed by hospitals.
  • Admission and discharge registers must be maintained that have identifying patient data along with health provider information.
  • Emergency room staffing must conform with applicable New York statutes and regulations.
  • Emergency room patients must get prompt examinations and not be transferred without first being examined.

Experienced medical malpractice attorneys are fully acquainted with the standard of care required by the medical profession.  Additionally, attorneys are fully knowledgeable with all New York statutes and regulations that require emergency rooms to provided adequate care.  Medical malpractice cases can therefore be based on professional negligence as well as on statutory violations.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.