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Medical errors can lead to medical malpractice lawsuits

Residents in the Washington, D.C., area and others all around the country trust their physicians to accurately diagnose and treat any medical problems they may have. While doctors are human and may make mistakes, their errors can have potential life-altering effects. In fact, numerous medical malpractice lawsuits may arise from medical errors by healthcare providers.

According to a study, over 250,000 people die in the nation because of medical errors, making this a common cause of fatality. In many instances, the error is related to a patient's record. Whether information was not entered at all or was charted incorrectly, the documentation is key in the process of determining liability when a fatality occurs.

Medical experts cited some common mistakes in charting, such as the failure to adequately record a patient's health history or drug information. Incorrect or incomplete notes regarding allergies could prove fatal to a patient. Also, any action taken on behalf of a patient should be noted in the record for review. It is also critical to have a history of any medication given during a patient's hospital stay. Unfortunately, some information also gets recorded on the wrong person's chart.

In other cases, a medication may no longer be prescribed; however, medical personnel still continue to administer it. The response to current medication should be noted in the charts as well, to determine if there are any adverse reactions. Orders written in the charts are sometimes transcribed incorrectly, resulting in wrong dosages of medicine or improper treatment. Finally, records may be illegible or incomplete.

Doctors, nurses and other healthcare personnel are not infallible and may make a mistake in a patient's medical treatment. However, if a loved one has died as a result of a medical mistake, the survivors may choose to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. A Washington, D.C., attorney can help families through the process to achieve a favorable result in the litigation proceedings.

Source: nursing.advanceweb.com, "Charting The Course to Fewer Medical Errors", Joe Darrah, March 6, 2018

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