Study: Hospital Emergency Room Fatalities Drop Significantly

spinal xrayEmergency Room negligence is still factor in many medical fatalities every year, but there is good news coming. A new study finds that hospital emergency room fatalities in the United States dropped dramatically; by nearly 50% over a 15- year period.

According to the research, based on an analysis of more than 368,000 visits to ER’s across the country between 1997 and 2011, there was a 48% drop in fatalities in emergency rooms. The bottom line is this: You are much less likely to die in a hospital emergency room now than you were a decade and a half ago.

According to the researchers, there has been a marked increase in the number of patients in hospice care (at home to care for the terminally ill), as well as improvements in the scope and nature of emergency room medicine. Each of these have contributed to the drop in ER mortality. In addition, ER staff now have access to medical technology that makes it much easier for them to respond quickly and appropriately to manage conditions like strokes, heart attacks, or serious personal injuries.

According to the analysis, people who died in the ER tended to be older patients, and were also more likely to be white and male. They were also very severely injured or ill when they entered the emergency room which increased their risks of dying. In as many as 63% of the visits, the patients had suffered a cardiac arrest, or were unconscious or dead on arrival.

It’s important to note that while the study focused on the number of people who died in emergency rooms, it does not help us understand the number of persons who visited hospital emergency rooms for treatment, survived and suffered long-term disability, or impairment. While there are many improvements in the treatment one receives in the emergency room, it is important to remember that the fast-paced setting and the urgent and wide-ranging nature of many of the medical conditions presenting each day make it a complex and, in some instances, a dangerous place. Doctor’s and nurses have to know when to act and when to delay treatment. They have to have their finger on the pulse of the many and various conditions that are behind each curtain. Competing demands of medical attention, reducing numbers in staffing, and physician fatigue can result in devastating consequences for you or a loved one.

The Indiana medical malpractice lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP represent persons who have suffered injuries as a result of medical negligence across Indiana. If you or a loved one suspects that a emergency department or hospital staff has caused severe permanent injuries, or even death, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Indiana has tight restrictions on the amount of time allowed to file a claim. Speak to one of our attorneys, today.