Emergency Services, Pre-hospital, and Emergency Transport
Medical malpractice cases in the emergency department, pre-hospital emergency transport, and first responder settings can be complex and difficult to navigate. With the higher acuity of patients and demanding environment of interprofessional care, these cases are often the most critical and require experienced representation.
Blindly tackling such cases without proper evaluation of the medical records by a Nurse Practitioner consulting expert may lead to missed opportunities, unnamed potential defendants, or overlooked information that could be key to a successful outcome. This is why it’s essential to have a Nurse Practitioner consulting expert review the records to determine if standards of care were breached and how this impacted damages.
As former nurses-turned-providers, Nurse Practitioner expert consultants specifically understand the nuances of healthcare delivery both at the provider and the hospital level. Nurse Practitioners with experience in the emergency room setting and receiving patients from the emergency room into the inpatient setting are intimately familiar with the standard of care expected by providers and nurses in the emergency room. They provide critical insights into a case and offer reliable opinions for an effective case strategy that you can take to the bank (that is–to your testifying experts to corroborate).
Differential diagnosis is critical in the emergency setting because a provider always has to rule out the most dangerous of possibilities regardless of their probability. In the emergency room setting, missing the presentation of sepsis can cause the vital organs to shut down, leading to the preventable death of a patient. Treating an aneurysm as if it’s a migraine can lead to a patient coding before your eyes.
Attributing chest pain to a strained muscle when it’s really a blood clot in the lungs (PE) or a heart attack (MI) can leave the provider vulnerable to litigation if the patient’s outcome is bad, as it may well be in such scenarios. Emergency providers must know all of the possibilities and must act swiftly and prudently. When reviewing a case in these settings for merit, a trial attorney would do well to have a provider with ER experience as an extension of his litigation team as a consulting expert.