The Dangers and Causes of Long Emergency Room Waits

The Dangers of Long Emergency Room WaitsSome hospital emergency rooms are well known for subjecting patients to long delays before they are evaluated by a physician or receive critical care. Delays in diagnosis and treatment can be the cause of serious harm. It can not be understated that excessive waits, be they a waiting room or even after initial patient registration where patients may be forced to wait in an examination room, can exacerbate already serious conditions. If someone is critically ill or seriously injured, delays in care can unnecessarily worsen their condition and cause additional pain, further illness and avoidable suffering as well as open the hospital to claims of medical malpractice.

If you or someone you know has had an injury or illness made worse by a long emergency room wait, The Law Office of Brian J. Levine, is here for you. For 20 years, our law firm has been assisting clients in Somerville, Bridgewater, New Brunswick, Franklin, Hillsborough and all over both Somerset and Hunterdon Counties with holding hospitals, medical staff and insurance companies accountable. We invite you to contact us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation regarding your medical malpractice, personal injury or insurance defense case at 908-524-0123.

The Importance of Triage in Somerset County & Hunterdon County Emergency Rooms

It is important that emergency room hospital staff recognize if there is an urgency to administer treatment to those who come into the ER, and proceed accordingly in both the immediate rendering of care and the prioritization of patients’ needs. This is known as triage.

In the emergency room, it is of the utmost importance to proper patient care, that the administration, nurses, and doctors not allow patients to get overlooked or inappropriately to be forced to wait when they are in actual need of expeditious care. These unwarranted delays occur they can result in significant injury to a patient, or even death.

In a medical emergency, time is of the essence and excessive wait times in an emergency rooms should not be accepted, regardless of how busy or understaffed a hospital may be. In fact, it is a deviation from the accepted standard of care and administration for a hospital not to place on any particular shift, enough staff and personnel to handle reasonably anticipated patient volume.

Medical Conditions that can be Worsened by Emergency Room Delays

A delay in needed treatment may result in an exacerbation of a patient’s presenting or underlying conditions. However, there are illnesses and conditions are more effected by delays may result in significant consequences. Conditions or symptoms which typically require rapid evaluation and treatment may include:

  • Respiratory arrest or difficulty breathing
  • Potential blood clot
  • Appendicitis
  • Potential aneurysm (dissecting or ruptured)
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Possible internal bleeding/visible excessive external bleeding
  • Asthma attack/allergic reaction
  • Potential sepsis or fulminate infectious processes (severe infection)

Causes of Emergency Room Delays Franklin Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Depending on one’s condition, it can be reasonable to expected to wait a period of time in a busy emergency room. However, there is still does not mean a patient should be evaluated and treated to prevent them from sustaining further and avoidable harm due to their illness. Some causes of delays may include among others:

  • Failure to staff sufficient staff and personnel in the ER
  • Lack of recognition of the significance of signs and symptoms exhibited by a patient or  failure in assessing those clinical signs  in a timely manner
  • Failing to prioritize patient care in the correct order
  • Failures in ordering and/or performing diagnostic studies and ensuring proper transport for testing
  • Shortages of supplies in the ER

Contact a Hillsborough NJ Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you feel you or a loved one has had a medical condition or illness made worse by unreasonable delays in Emergency room treatment please contact us at The Law Office of Brian J. Levine today at 908-524-0123 to schedule a free and confidential consultation about your potential claim. Brian Levine has achieved inclusion in the Super Lawyers list published by Thomson Reuters every year since 2009 in the field of medical malpractice. As a former defense attorney for New Jersey doctors and hospitals, he will use his unique insight to construct the most effective claim on your behalf.



Office Location

The Law Office Of Brian J. Levine

75 North Bridge Street

Somerville, NJ 08876

Telephone: 908-524-0123