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November 28, 2022

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  • Overcrowded Emergency Department Leads to Lawsuit Over EMTALA

    A patient, Scruggs, presented to Danville (VA) Regional Medical Center (DRMC) ED about 2 a.m. complaining of two days of prolonged dry heaves. He was triaged in the usual manner, prioritized as "non-urgent," and instructed to wait in the waiting area until his name was called. The court pointedly noted that the triage nurse failed to document the patient's "diabetic ketoacidosis condition or his history of diabetes."
  • Lawsuits may arise from ED 'boarding' practice

    This story is Part 1 of a two-part series on liability risks of boarding admitted patients in the ED. This month, we'll report on liability risks of holding admitted patients in ED hallways.
  • Special Report: The Difficult Airway: Part 2. Preparing for Failure

    Managing a patient's compromised airway involves preparing for the possibility of not being able to complete the intubation procedure in a timely manner. To avoid ongoing hypoxia and hypercapnea, management should include being ready to use alternative or "rescue" methods, including a surgical airway.
  • Who's responsible for the admitted patient in the ED?

    "Quit dreaming that your patients are being watched by physicians in the ED." That's what the vice chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at State University of New York at Stony Brook told physicians when he sought buy-in for a process to move patients boarded in the ED upstairs during high capacity.
  • Another waiting room death to bring lawsuits?

    One after the other, videotapes on primetime news showed a patient, Esmin Green, being ignored by ED staff as she lay dying on a waiting room floor in a Brooklyn psychiatric hospital after waiting almost 24 hours for a bed. What impact will this "horror story" case, and others like it, have on ED litigation?
  • Does documentation show patient was stabilized?

    Many hospitals have been cited by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) for failure to provide an appropriate medical screening examination for mental health patients, or for discharging these patients in an unstabilized emergency medical condition, notes Barbara E. Person, JD, an attorney at the Omaha, NE-based law firm Baird Holm.