Gorovitz & Borten, P.C.
Attorneys at Law

550 Cochituate Road, Suite 25
Framingham, Massachusetts
Tel: (781) 890-9095
Emergency Room Errors
Many times, the first line of medical care in handling traumatic
injuries or serious medical problems is the Emergency Room at
your local hospital. A hospital Emergency Room can be a chaotic
place, but that doesn't excuse serious medical errors that end up
harming a patient. Emergency Room doctors, nurses, and other
staff are supposed to be fully-trained to recognize potentially life-
threatening medical issues and to attend to those medical issues
in a timely and competent way.

Emergency Room providers must comply with the applicable
standard of care for the average qualified doctor or nurse in
treating a patient under their care, and do so in a way that
ensures the patient’s health and safety. This includes taking a
careful medical history, documenting the patient’s complaints and
vital signs, performing a thorough examination, ordering the right
tests, and looking for the signs and symptoms that should guide
the medical provider in determining what the problem is, what the
cause (or causes) of the problem could be, and what the
appropriate course of treatment should be.

The most common emergency room errors resulting in
emergency room medical malpractice are:
•        Misdiagnosing a medical condition;
•        Mistakes with medication (i.e. wrong type or dosage);
•        Failure to order appropriate tests;
•        Misinterpreting test results;
•        Ignoring or downplaying symptoms;
•        Failure to timely evaluate following arrival to the ER;
•        Failure to obtain a required consultation;
•        Delayed treatment;
•        Premature discharge before a work-up is completed; and
•        Deviating from standard protocol

Failure to diagnose such conditions as stroke, myocardial
infarction, spinal epidural abscess, pulmonary embolism,
necrotizing fasciitis, meningitis, testicular torsion, subarachnoid
hemorrhage, septicemia, lung cancer, fractures, and appendicitis
are the most common causes leading to litigation. In some
instances, patients are evaluated and treated in an emergency
room without ever seen a physician.

Most mistakes are preventable. Most of the mistakes in the
emergency department (ED) that have the potential to
compromise patient safety are caused by human error. First
impression or intuition based diagnoses tend to limit a physician’s
inclusion of an appropriate differential diagnosis.

Common causes of emergency room errors also include the
•        Lack of equipment or resources;
•        Overcrowding;
•        Inadequate staffing;
•        Caring for multiple patients simultaneously;
•        Staff stressed and/or fatigued;
•        Deviating from standard protocol; and
•        Failure to obtain an adequate medical history.

Prescription-related deaths (where the prescription is initiated in
the Emergency Room) are the most common cause of  
unintentional deaths in our country, more common than motor
vehicle accidents.  An act of negligence, eventhough not
intentional, can still lead to the healthcare provider being held
accountable for your injuries.

If you believe that you or your loved one have been injured as a
result of an emergency room error  that was diagnosable,
avoidable and/or preventable, you may have a valid cause of
action. The injury may be the result of a medical provider's
mistake in handling your medical emergency condition and the
result of medical negligence. Dr. Borten is an experienced trial
attorney and also has over 35 years of experience as a
physician/surgeon to fully evaluate the merits of your potential
case. Allow the medical malpractice attorneys at Gorovitz &
Borten help you assert your rights and get the compensation you
Contact Information
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24 hours (when possible), please contact us by phone, fax or
e-mail with your question or concern.

Telephone:  781-890-9095     -     Fax:   781-890-9098
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