When one enters the hospital in times of a medical emergency, they hope that they will receive the highest standard of care possible. Often there can be uncertainty, however, as to what the threshold is for the highest acceptable standard of care. In an emergency, it can also become unclear what treatment was received exactly.
What does “not charted, not done” mean, and how does it apply to medical negligence cases in Louisiana? This very issue arose recently at the Louisiana Court of Appeals recently when the testimony of a doctor at Lakeland medical center conflicted with his documented treatment of a patient who subsequently died.
Wonica Royal died on April 1, 2003, after she had been discharged from Lakeland hospital. When Ms. Royal presented to the emergency room there had been no nurse at the triage desk. Dr. Juan Blanch, an emergency room physician, was at the desk, however, and he performed the assessment of Ms. Royal. Ms. Royal was administered breathing treatment and antibiotics and discharged on the same day in “good condition.” The next day she died of a pulmonary embolism.