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Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys

Kansas ranks second for longest emergency room wait times. Are lives being put at risk?

A recent study by Press Ganey, a national hospital consulting firm, found that emergency room wait times are increasing.  In 2009, the national average wait time to be seen by an emergency room medical provider was four hours and seven minutes; this was up four minutes from 4 hours and 3 minutes in 2008, but up 31 minutes since  2002 when American emergency room patients waited an average of 3 hours and 36 minutes.
 
According to the study, Utah had the longest wait times of any state. An emergency room patient in Utah can expect to wait an average of eight hours and 17 minutes to be seen. Kansas had the next longest wait time. Kansas emergency room patients spend an average of five hours and 43 minutes waiting.

These numbers come from surveys of 1.5 million patients released from 1,893 emergency rooms across the United States. Researchers blame lack of staffing and the loss of health insurance because of the recession for the long waits. Patients seek emergency room treatment for non-emergencies because they don’t have the insurance coverage necessary to visit a doctor’s office. 
 
Long waits don’t need to mean that patients who need urgent care must wait. Emergency rooms have triage procedures to determine how urgent a patient’s needs are. Patients with life threatening conditions should be seen immediately. However, it is possible that seriously ill patients may go unnoticed or uncared for in busy emergency rooms.
 
If you were seriously injured, but were delayed care because of a triage error, you may have a Missouri medical negligence case. To learn about medical malpractice in Kansas City, contact the Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys and request a free copy of our guide, “The Truth About Medical Malpractice Claims.” This guide defines medical malpractice and will advise you of your rights if you think you have a case.  To discuss you own situation with a Kansas City medical malpractice attorney, call our office at 1-888-348-2616.
James Roswold
James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.

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