In the late summer months is uncertain what kind of treatment you may receive in a local ER since it is usually the time when medical residents begin their training.Their name tag might say M.D. but they are deep in on-the-job training mode.
According to a study of California emergency rooms, it is a wise idea not to go to a crowded ER. A crowded ER can be hazardous to your health. A study confirmed what many suspected: that higher inpatient mortality risk and higher costs are linked to crowded emergency rooms. Medical errors contribute to a five percent higher chance of death when the ER is packed.
The findings were not insignificant. In crowded ERs the study found:
- A five percent higher likelihood of death
- Less than one percent longer hospital stay
- A one percent increase in the cost of admission
These small numbers translate to 300 excess deaths in California hospitals, 6,200 extra hospital days and $17 million in costs.
Should a patient die due to overcrowded conditions, it could be considered medical malpractice and the hospital could be held liable for the wrongful death of the patient.