The Dangers of Overcrowded Emergency Rooms in Wilmington NC

One of the most frustrating and preventable problems that has plagued the healthcare industry in recent years has been the ongoing problem of overcrowded emergency departments. A hospital's emergency department is meant to provide quick, and often life-saving, treatment to those in desperate circumstances. But sadly, many patients suffer excruciating wait times in our nation's ERs and in the worst of cases, some patients even succumb to injuries that were entirely treatable.

At Bain and Rodzik, our medical malpractice attorney in Wilmington NC fights on behalf of those who suffer from this vagrant form of medical negligence. Read on to learn more about the ongoing problem of overcrowded ER departments.

Overcrowded Emergency Departments Have Higher Fatality Rates

According to a 2012 study conducted by the Annals of Emergency Medicine, overcrowded emergency departments have higher fatality rates than those that are less crowded. In the study, it was determined that patients in crowded ERs were 5% more likely to die of their injuries or illnesses than patients in less crowded ERs. The researchers measured ER overcrowding based on ambulance diversion, which is a practice used by hospitals to close emergency rooms to ambulances once they become too busy to accept new patients.

The study revealed that the probability of death increased in emergency departments that had median high ambulance diversions of seven hours compared with a median low of zero. The data was compiled from 995,379 emergency room visits in 2007 at 187 non-federal, acute-care hospitals in California. Over the duration of the researched period, 300 inpatient deaths were connected with emergency department overcrowding.

How Will the Affordable Care Act Affect ED Overcrowding?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is intended to reduce the patient flow to the nation's emergency rooms because ERs are commonly utilized by those without health insurance once their conditions become too severe to deal with. It is believed that once every American is insured, more people will schedule appointments with their primary healthcare providers rather than rely on emergency department resources.

But, what the ACA didn't take into account was the nationwide shortage of primary care doctors. In rural and low-income areas, it remains difficult for new policy holders to find primary doctors, meaning that these people are still relying on their hospital emergency departments for the majority of their routine healthcare needs.

With emergency departments now bogged down by insurance card-carrying patients, those in need of immediate medical attention are still finding it a lengthy wait to get the treatment they need.

Contact Our Medical Malpractice Attorney in Wilmington NC Today

If you or your loved one is the victim of medical negligence due to an overcrowded emergency department, then contact Bain & Rodzik's medical malpractice attorney in Wilmington NC today. We take this issue very seriously and as such, our team of litigation experts will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Call the Law Firm of Bain & Rodzik today at 910-762-1199 to schedule a free initial consultation. With Bain & Rodzik, you don't pay unless we win your case!