A 23-year old mother of three is reportedly in a coma with the support of a breathing machine at Maui Medical Center after a routine dental procedure gone awry. The woman reportedly failed to wake up after having her wisdom teeth removed.
Although it isn’t known whether the woman had had her wisdom teeth removed under full anesthesia, the surgeon who performed the surgery is reportedly allowed to use full anesthesia under his medical license. Although the woman’s family is not currently focused on finding fault, it remains to be seen whether any complaints will be made against the physician.
The oral surgeon who treated the woman performs various types of procedures, including cosmetic, plastic surgery and oral surgery, and both his medical and dental licenses are in good standing, according to sources.
That being said, the doctor has also had four prior complaints in Hawaii since 2010. Two of these were for failure to abide by professional conduct laws, though there apparently wasn’t enough evidence to warrant any penalties. The other two complaints are still being worked through. According to sources, the doctor who treated the woman has been sued for medical malpractice on a previous occasion, though that case was dismissed.
When a patient suffers serious harm at the hands of a provider, the costs can be great for the patient and his or her family. Medical error stemming from provider negligence can be grounds for filing a medical malpractice claim. Such litigation is not necessarily easy to pursue, but in some cases is the best way to obtain the compensation the patient deserves.
Source: Hawaii News Now, “Four complaints follow doctor involved in dental tragedy on Hilo,” Tim Sakahara, March 21, 2014.