August 1, 2013
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Infectious diseases account for a significant percentage of emergency department (ED) visits each year and are frequent sources of litigation. A plaintiff verdict or settlement is usually based on a delay in diagnosis and subsequent substandard treatment. It is important to recognize specific infectious entities early to avoid medical-legal exposure. We present five cases of infectious disease malpractice that highlight pearls and pitfalls.
Psychiatric patients boarded in EDs awaiting available beds present significant liability risks for emergency physicians (EPs) for several reasons, according to Leslie Zun, MD, MBA, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago, IL
An emergency physician (EP) caring for a 62-year-old man after a motor vehicle accident interpreted the chest X-ray as negative. The radiologist overreading the chest films the next day noted a left lung nodule, but the patient was never notified.