Died in the Waiting Room: Hospital Delays in Treating Patients

Heart Attack Misdiagnosis, Hospitals, Medical Malpractice Mistakes, Wrongful Death

One of the most egregious type of medical malpractice is when a patient dies in the waiting room of an emergency department.  This is where a patient comes in needing immediate help, gets there in time, reports her or his condition, and is then forced to wait for help and dies.  There can be no “closer call” to getting help and failing short to the ultimate personal injury—wrongful death.

But this is a sad thing that does happen.  And hospitals may be negligent and held liable for medical malpractice.


Because hospitals need to triage patients that come in.  This means evaluating the level of care and urgency of such care that a patient needs.  When this properly occurs, patients are treated in order of need not in order of appearance.  A triage nurse will evaluate the patient’s with the most need and then get them to help faster.

But when a hospital fails to properly train triage nurses, or when a triage nurse fails to properly evaluate a patient, it can result in very serious personal injuries or wrongful death.  Patients can literally die in the waiting room which is medical malpractice.

Some conditions patients can die in a waiting room for include the following:

  • Heart attacks;
  • Strokes;
  • Massive bleeding;
  • Crushing injuries;
  • Allergic reactions;
  • Airway injuries;
  • Lung injuries;
  • Brain injuries;
  • Aneurisms;
  • Drug overdoses or complications; and
  • Many other conditions.

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.