November 23, 2022
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An emergency physician (EP) diagnoses pneumonia in a 40-year-old male and treats appropriately. Later, the radiologist agrees with the pneumonia diagnosis, but suggests that "a small nodule in the left upper lobe should be evaluated with a chest CT." Somehow, that report never gets read by the ED staff, and the patient's cancer progresses until it is too late for effective treatment. A lawsuit is filed.
Belligerent behavior, communication problems, inconsistent responses to questions, and lack of competency to refuse treatment: Any of these factors can get in the way of obtaining a good history and physical for a patient with psychiatric complaints, according to Barbara E. Person, an attorney with Omaha, NE-based Baird Holm.
Hospital emergency departments (EDs) interact with police on a daily basis with varying degrees of cooperation, but whether the cooperation is good or bad, many police interactions raise risks of violating federal EMTALA and other regulations.
There is a growing trend of specialty organizations coming out with guidelines and recommendations, but in some cases, these are inappropriate for ED patientsand may even be harmful.