Increase in Summer Injuries Can Lead to More ER Errors

For most, summer is a time for fun and relaxation. However, summer is also a time when emergency room errors can be more likely. Largely, this is because ERs tend to be busier in the summer, taking in more patients with a wide range of injuries. But what about the summertime makes injury and medical errors more likely? Below we look at some of the most common summer injuries and why medical errors are more likely to occur.

Heat-Related Injuries

As temperatures rise, so do heat-related injuries. Heat-related injuries occur when the body isn't able to manage the extreme heat outside and/or when the body is exposed to too much sun. According to the CDC, people from all walks of life are susceptible to heat-related injuries, but some of the most vulnerable are the elderly, children, people who work outside, and the homeless. Others who may also be more vulnerable are those who have heart disease, high blood pressure, are overweight, or take medications that may be affected by extreme heat.

Common heat-related injuries include:

  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heat stroke
  • Heat rash
  • Heat cramps
  • Sunburn

Individuals may also be injured by burns resulting from touching hot surfaces.

Heat Exhaustion vs. Heat Stroke

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are two of the most common heat-related injuries and illnesses. Though very common (or perhaps because they are so common), many people conflate heat exhaustion and heat stroke. However, they are not the same. Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness and occurs when the body temperature rises rapidly, and the body cannot control it and cannot cool down. Heat stroke can be fatal. This is incredibly dangerous, and if you suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke, you need to call 911 immediately.

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Profuse sweating
  • Hot and/or dry skin
  • Extremely high body temperature
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

Heat exhaustion occurs when the body has lost an excessive amount of water and salt. This typically occurs when someone has been sweating profusely for an extended period. Those most susceptible to heat exhaustion are the elderly, those with high blood pressure, and those working in a hot environment, such as construction workers working outside.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Irritability
  • Elevated body temperature

How Do Heat-Related Injuries & Illness Correlate to More ER Errors?

Unfortunately, when emergency rooms are overly crowded and busy, errors are more likely to occur. Often staffing is not what it should be, and nurses, doctors, and other healthcare practitioners can be overworked and therefore overtired and overwhelmed. When this happens, the quality of patient care suffers, and errors are more likely to occur.

Furthermore, ERs may be suffering from what is called the July Effect. The July Effect refers to the period in which newly graduated medical students, and medical residents take up new positions at hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country. This increase in inexperienced medical professionals has been correlated with a rise in medical errors and medical malpractice.

What You Should Do If You Are the Victim of an ER Error

If you or a loved one visited an emergency room this summer and suffered from an ER error, you should reach out to Golomb Legal. for guidance. You may have grounds to file a medical malpractice suit and seek compensation for your injuries. We have worked with many clients in the Philadelphia area. We have successfully helped them secure compensation for various damages associated with their injuries, including economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

We know that filing a medical malpractice claim can be overwhelming. However, those responsible for your injuries must be held accountable. Not only will this help you receive the care and compensation you need to move forward from your injuries, but it will also help protect future patients from suffering.

Send us a message online to discuss your case in a confidential consultation. We are standing by to help.