Medical Malpractice May Happen In An Outpatient Setting

Unfortunately, medical malpractice can happen just about anywhere; including in an outpatient setting.

Generally speaking, most people tend to think of medical malpractice as occurring in a hospital or other clinical setting. What they are forgetting is that medical malpractice may also happen in an outpatient setting.

Outpatients are those who are not admitted overnight to the hospital, but go there temporarily for a diagnosis of a condition and to get treatment, if necessary. Just because that patient does not stay overnight, they may still be victims of medical malpractice due to hospital staff handing out wrong medications, delaying diagnosis, failing to diagnose or providing the wrong treatment.

Anyone visiting the ER, a clinic or the hospital knows full well that the staff is usually swamped with patients needing help. In most emergency settings, priority is given to those who are having trouble breathing, those who arrive there by ambulance and those who have life threatening symptoms.

The staff on duty usually practice something referred to as “triage,” which means those who need the care first and urgently get it right away, while others with less harmful injuries wait. But perhaps the less harmful injury only appears to be less harmful, and could worsen if not examined.

That aside, even those with non-life threatening injuries should be taken care of as soon as possible. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where 8 hours or more later you are still waiting for diagnosis and treatment. It has happened. The bottom line is that delaying diagnosis and treatment may lead to fatal complications or a worsening of your symptoms. While other patients may be a priority, you still are entitled to expedient service.

If you find yourself in this kind of situation and you did indeed get worse because you had to wait, or developed other life threatening complications, speak to a Chicago injury lawyer about compensation. Negligent or careless treatment because you were not a priority is not excusable.

Michael Osborne is a Chicago injury lawyer. The Law Office of Michael Osborne helps accident, wrongful death, and personal injury victims. To contact a Chicago personal injury attorney or learn more, visit or call (312) 315-1765.