January 1, 2015
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Certain diagnoses have recurrently and consistently been the bane of emergency department (ED) physicians, with regard to malpractice payouts year after year. They continue to be missed, and lead to some of the larger awards. Below we present several recent typical cases to raise awareness and avoid liability.
In 2013, an emergency department (ED) director was terminated after commenting on a patients photo, which had been posted on Facebook by an ED nurse.1 In a similar case the same year, an emergency physician (EP) was sued after posting a photo of an intoxicated patient that included comments.
In a case related to the alleged delay in providing care to a patient, an emergency physician (EP) was accused of altering the time that he ordered certain treatments for the patient.
The risk of an Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA) lawsuit involving a patient with psychiatric illness is low, according to a recent study.1 If emergency physicians (EPs) perform appropriate medical screening examinations, the lawsuit is rarely successful.