Typically, before you get any medical treatment in an emergency room, you must go through the intake process. You depend on the person at the desk to start the process and to make sure that you get the medical treatment you need before any further time goes by that could cause your illness or injury to worsen.
Mistakes in the ER Intake Process
Sometimes, you won’t be seen right away. A delay in the emergency room intake process is not always negligence. However, a delay can be considered negligence if:
- The intake team failed to triage or recognize a medical emergency. Emergency rooms are not strictly first-come-first-served facilities. While this policy might be fine if everyone showed up with broken arms, sprained ankles, or other non-life-threatening conditions, it is not fair or even safe when applied equally to all patients. People with potentially life-threatening conditions, such as heart attacks or strokes, should be prioritized over people with broken bones. The emergency room intake team must, therefore, triage patients to identify those who must be seen quickly.
- The intake team failed to follow hospital policies or procedures. Emergency rooms have intake and triage policies and procedures to prevent dangerous delays in treatment. When emergency room staff fail to follow these policies and procedures, patients can suffer from unnecessary waits.
You may be able to take legal action if a negligent delay during the emergency room intake process causes you physical harm or your loved one’s death.
Call a Lawyer After an ER Intake Delay Injury or Death
It isn’t always easy to sue a hospital for a delay in emergency room treatment. You will need evidence that your condition was more serious than other patients in the ER, testimony about the reasons for your delay in treatment, and copies of hospital policies and procedures, among other key documents.
Our experienced legal team can get this information for you and, if appropriate, fight for your fair recovery of damages. It won’t cost you anything upfront to work with us. Call Gray and White Law any time—24/7/365—to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.