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Charting errors could lead to major medical mistakes

Medical errors can have long-lasting and dangerous consequences for patients receiving treatment in Montana. In fact, medical mistakes remain one of the leading causes of death in the United States as over 250,000 people die each year due to such errors. This means that reducing the number and severity of mistakes is critical for patient health and safety.

Because most treatment provided to patients is documented, omitted or incorrect information on a medical chart can lead to serious effects and later mistreatment. While digital records have been a major advance in medical technology, these advances could occasionally lead to medical errors that are more difficult to correct. In order to protect patients, it is important for nurses to record all relevant information, including food and drug allergies. If actions for a patient are not recorded, later shifts may make errors due to missing information.

Another dangerous mistake can occur when charts are mixed up. Information can be recorded on the chart of a patient who is stationed nearby or shares a common name, leading to incorrect data about two patients. Failing to record changes to drug administration can also lead to serious consequences; this can mean a drug that was discontinued due to side effects continues to be administered despite ongoing harm.

Mistakes in medical records can lead to even more damaging mistakes in drug administration, physical treatment or even surgery. For patients who have experienced harm due to a mistake by a doctor, hospital or other health professional, there are actions that can be taken. A medical malpractice attorney can go over the case and determine the possibility of seeking compensation for the harms caused due to the medical error.

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Towe & Fitzpatrick, PLLC
619 SW Higgins, Ste. O
P.O. Box 1745
Missoula, MT 59806

Phone: 406-203-5148
Phone: 406-829-1669
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