Does it matter how many ER nurses are on duty when you need emergency treatment?

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doctor and nurses rushing a patient to surgeryYes, the number of nurses in an emergency room matter a great deal for patient safety. Nurses assess patients, provide necessary care, and monitor patients for changing symptoms and conditions. Without nurses, an ER patient’s medical care may be delayed, and the results can be catastrophic.

Unfortunately, hospitals do not always staff emergency rooms with enough nurses to provide safe patient care. While it is impossible to know how many patients will come to the emergency department at any given time, hospitals must ensure that their ERs are fully staffed. When emergency rooms are understaffed to save money, patients suffer, and the hospital should be held responsible.

Understaffing Could Cost the Hospital Much More Than a Nurse’s Salary

Hospital emergency rooms may think they are saving money by having fewer nurses working each shift. However, if the ER gets busy, and there are not enough nurses to provide reasonable care, the hospital may be responsible for paying for all of the damages caused by the delay in medical care. For each patient harmed by hospital negligence, this may include:

  • Medical expenses. The hospital could be responsible for paying for the medical care you needed because of the delay in care. This medical care could include hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, doctors’ visits, physical therapy, and other costs.
  • Lost income. The hospital is also responsible for paying for the income you could not earn due to your injuries. This could include lost wages and lost income from self-employment.
  • Pain and suffering. Any physical pain and emotional suffering you experienced due to the delay in care should be compensated by the hospital

If the delay in care caused by the nursing shortage led to a patient’s wrongful death, damages could also include surviving family members’ suffering, funeral costs, and a spouse’s loss of consortium. These damages may be significantly more than the cost of having additional nurses for each shift.

Our ER treatment delay medical malpractice attorneys are here to help you if you’ve been hurt by a delay in nursing care in a Kentucky emergency room. Let us find out why your medical care was delayed, who was responsible, and whether you have a legal claim worth pursuing. Call us or fill out our online contact form today to learn more.

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