Maui Surgical Errors Attorneys
There are several hospitals and medical facilities you can go to on Maui for help, including Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital, and Kaiser Permanente. If you suffer serious injuries in an accident or are diagnosed with a medical condition, you may require surgery. You also may elect to have a surgical procedure done.
Whether the surgery is elective or a life-saving procedure, your surgical team should provide a high level of care. Complications are always a risk of surgery, but you should not have to worry about your surgeon, anesthesiologist, or another medical professional making a mistake and causing you harm.
Yet all too often, mistakes in the operating room happen and cause patients significant harm. The error may even lead to a death in your family. Whether you or a loved one were hurt, talk with one of our Maui surgical errors attorneys about Hawaii’s medical malpractice laws and your rights and options.
Matt Menzer and his team have many years of experience representing medical malpractice victims in Hawaii. We are here to help you and your family whether you suffered harm due to medical errors on Maui or a neighbor island. Call our law office today at 808-400-3726. We accept cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay no upfront or hourly fees and we do not get paid unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you.
Types of Surgical Errors
Menzer Law Firm handles cases involving all types of medical torts in Hawaii, including surgical mistakes. Some of the most common and harmful surgical mistakes we see include:
Lack of Informed Consent
Surgeons are required to obtain informed consent to perform the procedure. Unless you gave your consent in advance, they cannot perform additional procedures while you are unconscious unless the situation is life-threatening.
Wrong-Site, Wrong-Procedure, Wrong-Patient Errors (WSPEs)
WSPEs are relatively rare, occurring in about 1 out of every 112,000 surgical procedures, but they still happen more than they should, according to the Patient Safety Network. Surgeons may operate on the wrong part of the body. For example, a procedure that should have occurred on the left knee may be performed on the right knee. This can occur when physicians fail to clearly mark the appropriate areas of the body prior to surgery and/or properly review patient records before a procedure.
And when surgeons lose track of their schedule and fail to review the critical patient files before a procedure, they may perform the wrong procedure on a patient. These mistakes also occur when nurses and other hospital staff bring patients into the wrong operating room.
The proper administration of anesthesia is essential during surgery. The anesthesiologist and other members of the staff are responsible for ensuring their patients receive appropriate types and amounts of drugs to ensure the patients do not feel pain, or when necessary, are unconscious. This team is also responsible for monitoring patients’ oxygen and blood pressure levels throughout the procedures. Too much anesthesia or too little oxygen can lead to devastating injuries.
However, anesthesia mistakes can also occur even if you receive the appropriate amounts of drugs and oxygen throughout a procedure. You can suffer dental, mouth, and throat injuries due to improper intubation techniques, or you can suffer a nerve injury from your body being placed in an awkward or dangerous position too long.
Doctors, nurses, and hospitals may fail to maintain a sterile environment in the operating room and put patients at risk for life-threatening infections, including antibiotic-resistant infections.
Surgeons may negligently cut or damage a nerve in the affected area of the body. Damage to nerves can reduce a patient’s level of sensation and mobility. Depending on the nerve or number of nerves impacted, a patient can lose all sensation or mobility in a limb or area of the body.
Surgeons can cause patients permanent injury or death if they inadvertently puncture or nick an internal organ, such as the bowel or liver. If the surgical team notices the mistake right away, they may be able to correct it. However, if the mistake is not caught, it can lead to very serious complications.
Leaving Foreign Objects in the Body
Surgeons may negligently leave a medical instrument in the body, such as a clip or sponge. This can lead to pain, infections, and other serious complications. These kinds of objects can also migrate and damage an internal organ.
Many women undergo cesarean sections to deliver their children. A surgeon’s carelessness or mistake during a C-section procedure can lead to significant birth injuries for the child or harm to the mother. Also, a delayed C-section can result in a fetus being in distress or going without oxygen for too long, which can cause brain damage, cerebral palsy, and developmental and cognitive delays.
Not All Surgical Mistakes Are Medical Malpractice
Not all complications, errors, or poor surgical outcomes can lead to a claim against the doctor or other medical professionals for medical malpractice. Some mistakes and accidents are beyond a surgeon’s control and can happen even while the surgeon and other doctors and nurses provide you with the best possible care.
In order for a surgical error to be considered malpractice, you must be able to prove that the physician did not uphold the required standard of care. You must have evidence, including a certificate of consultation demonstrating a medical expert’s opinion that the surgeon or hospital or nurse was negligent or reckless in providing your care.
You also have to prove your physical, psychological, and financial injuries arose because of the medical negligence.
Talk With a Maui Medical Malpractice Attorney About Filing a Legal Complaint
If you believe you are the victim of a surgical error that constitutes medical malpractice, you should engage an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who can effectively guide you through the mandatory steps and processes. In the State of Hawaii, you must first take your case to the Medical Inquiry and Conciliation Panel (MICP), which utilizes a non-binding conciliation process to attempt to resolve your claim. We will file the claim with the MICP and pursue a settlement for your claim and, if necessary, we will file a personal injury or wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit and take the negligent health care providers to court.