Is this case an EMTALA violation?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) working in the emergency department (ED) is asked to see a patient with an "eye infection." The patient has a severe retrobulbar orbital abscess requiring complex multidisciplinary specialty management and is ultimately transferred to a tertiary care center. The patient had first presented to a community ED per the recommendation of her ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist. The patient was advised to leave the first ED during triage and to go to a second community ED. Although the referring physician was made aware of the recommendation to have the patient drive to another facility, the APRN questions whether this is a case of an Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) violation. This article defines EMTALA and evaluates the case.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-331
Number of pages4
JournalAdvanced Emergency Nursing Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • EMTALA violation
  • Emergency medical condition
  • Medical screening examination
  • Patient transfer
  • Stabilize


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