Urgent Care Malpractice
The family of an Auburn University student, who died after a visit to a local urgent care center, was recently awarded $9 million in a medical malpractice case. A healthy college junior, the student visited an urgent care center on two separate occasions several days apart complaining of chest pains, but was released only to die shortly thereafter of blood clots. On her second urgent care visit, the only physician available to see her was on his first day on the job and had an overflowing waiting room to attend to. The urgent care malpractice sadly cost her her life.
Rise in Urgent Care
The number of urgent care facilities across the country continues to grow. There are over 9,000 urgent care facilities in the U.S. with an additional 50 to 100 opening every year as the demand grows for alternatives to expensive emergency room trips. Urgent care facilities have become an increasingly useful alternative to visiting the emergency room or your regular doctor, as they provide an intermediary service between the two. As well, with the rising cost of healthcare, many people do not have a primary care physician; urgent care centers are therefore increasingly used in lieu of a regular doctor’s visit for minor medical issues. As the popularity of urgent care clinics continues to rise, so do medical malpractice claims against such facilities.
Sometimes known as walk-in care, immediate care, or convenient care, urgent care centers provide treatment to patients with acute conditions and minor trauma. They do not accept patients with serious, life-threatening issues. Those with less serious injuries often choose urgent care over a hospital emergency room because of the favorable prices and faster service.
The lack of uniform standards and guidelines regarding urgent care can lead to urgent care malpractice, including errors in medical treatment. In addition, there is no ongoing relationship between the patient and the provider. Patients are examined, given basic treatment, and then told to visit a primary care physician or a specialist in order to continue their treatment. While many organizations are working to improve urgent care center regulations and quality standards, for now it remains difficult for patients to file complaints against a center if something goes wrong.
Urgent Care Malpractice Lawyers
A misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose by doctors and medical staff at an urgent care facility can cause a patient further injury or even kill them. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice at an urgent care center, contact the Philadelphia trial lawyers of Lopez McHugh to learn more about your legal rights.