Louisiana residents go to the emergency department of their local hospital in tough situations when immediate medical care is required. However, overcrowding is an issue across the state in many different medical branches. Emergency departments are not exempt, though the consequences for overcrowding here can be critical.
The National Institutes of Health take a look at the issue of hospital overcrowding in relation to the emergency departments. They cite a specific case in which one hospital's department was filled to 250% capacity, leading to a patient getting treatment in the hallway. Two days later, he suffered from cardiac arrest that could have been prevented if proper care and time had been taken to examine his electrocardiogram (EKG) earlier.
Issues like that aren't a one-off occurrence, unfortunately. It is all too common for medical staff to face situations where they are not only taking on too many patients at once, but they are simultaneously overworked and understaffed. This can lead to negligent and potentially harmful actions, such as misdiagnosing patients based on misread scans, or not performing the correct tests in the first place. While it is a hardship on the medical staff as well, it can be catastrophic to the patients who depend on their diagnoses and treatments to continue having a healthy quality of life.
If you have been placed in a situation where your health is in jeopardy because of the negligence found in overcrowded emergency departments, you may benefit from the guidance of an attorney. They can help you with matters of compensation.