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Common mistakes that lead to medication errors

Hospital patients in Oklahoma may know that medication errors are among the most common form of medical malpractice. They're also one of the most deadly as more than a quarter of a million Americans die from health care mistakes every year. These errors often arise from issues in the charting and documentation stage.

For example, nurses may fail to record patient information such as the existence of allergies, diseases or other chronic health conditions. They may also incorrectly note dosage amounts or negative reactions to certain drugs. Sometimes, all a nurse has to do is cross-check the chart with doctors' orders. If they notice a patient developing new symptoms, they should convey their suspicions to others.

Nurses are advised to keep a flow sheet along with a patient's chart so that the staff member on the following shift will know what actions they took. They should also make sure to transcribe information on the right sheet. All too often, patients have their information mixed up because they share the same condition, doctor and room. Even name mix-ups can lead to an error. Nurses should also write legibly as a bad script could lead to misunderstandings.

Medication errors can lead to the worsening of a condition or the development of a new health problem. However, malpractice victims could be reimbursed for the added medical expense and pain and suffering. A lawyer can usually hire investigators and medical experts to find proof of a doctor's negligence. Once the case is ready, the lawyer can negotiate for a settlement. If payment is denied, the case could go to court.

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