Winckler & Harvey, L.L.P.
A Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Firm
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Reducing the number of medication errors

Every year in Texas and across the U.S., more than 250,000 people die as a result of medication errors. Despite advances in technology that allow for digital record keeping, nurses and other health care professionals continue to make life-altering mistakes, most of which are preventable. Many errors are revealed in patients' charts and other documents.

The number one mistake is the failure to craft and enter information. For instance, nurses may fail to write down whether a patient suffers from allergies or some chronic health condition. Drug allergies are especially important to note. Many nurses also fail to take down the reactions that patients have to certain drugs. This means patients may not receive the proper care if a condition worsens.

Many nurses also neglect to record their actions with each patient. This can confuse staff members who take over on the following shift. Some even forget to record when medication is administered, in what dosage and by what route. Nurses are encouraged to attach flow sheets to their patients' charts.

When medication is discontinued, nurses are often left uninformed. This is why when nurses notice a complication in their patients, they should cross-check the records with any doctors' orders. Another issue is when nurses record information on the wrong sheet. This often happens when patients share the same room, condition, doctor or name.

When a condition arises or worsens because of a medication error, victims or their families can consult with a lawyer who focuses on malpractice cases. An attorney could evaluate the claim and determine if the doctor failed to live up to the standard of care. If possible, the lawyer will negotiate for a settlement out of court.

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