Emergency Rooms

How the emergency room works

The emergency room is a place you try to avoid, and much of what you may know about ERs may be from medical dramas on TV. Here are some things you should know about the ER and how it works:

  • Everyone who comes into an ER will be seen, regardless of their ability to pay or insurance status.
  • Although ERs are committed to providing high-quality emergency care as quickly as possible to all patients, patients with more serious conditions will be seen first.
  • ER physicians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But other medical specialists — such as neurosurgeons, cardiologists, and orthopedic surgeons — may provide on-call backup services as needed, and this may extend your wait.
  • If you have a minor illness or injury and the emergency department isn’t crowded, your visit may be one to two hours or more. However, if you require extensive diagnostic tests, your visit may be even longer because it will take time to obtain the test results.
  • If you need to be admitted to the hospital, you may have to wait until an inpatient bed is available.
  • Many ERs are improving customer service by decreasing waiting times using such measures as registering people at bedsides, streamlining systems that speed specimens to the laboratory, computerizing tracking systems, establishing fast-track systems to expedite diagnosis and treatment for patients with less critical conditions and hiring patient advocates.

Planning ahead for your emergency room trip

Not all ERs are created equal. For instance, an ER designated a trauma center offers a different level of service, staff, and equipment. Some ERs are better suited for a child’s emergency. You have a choice when you go to the ER. Take the time now to investigate ERs in your community. Here are a few tips:

  • Ask your doctor and healthcare professionals you trust about the ERs in your community and whether one is better than another for treating medical issues and traumatic injuries. Only by knowing what your choices are can you make a decision that is best for you and your loved one.
  • Prepare now. Know the ERs closest to your home and work as well as the key services they provide. Be ready before the emergency happens.
  • Carry ER contact information in your wallet and post it in a prominent place in your home.

What if something goes wrong during an emergency room trip?

Unfortunately, sometimes medical errors occur in the emergency room. If that error was the result of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Schedule a free initial consultation with the Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer Vincent M. DeAngelo to discuss your potential medical malpractice case.

Meet with a Connecticut medical malpractice attorney

Attorney Vincent M. DeAngelo makes this promise: "I will give you hard work and straight talk". For a free consultation to discuss your medical malpractice or other personal injury case, call him at 860.246.3500 or use the online form.  He handles cases in the Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, and Milford areas.