Medical treatment and surgeries obviously involve a certain amount of safety risk to the patient. Most doctors in Hawaii and elsewhere do their best to adhere to strict protocol that helps them keep patients as safe as possible. Most doctors, however, does not include all doctors, as made evident by a terrible surgical error that occurred in 2014.
The incident that caused severe injury to a woman was likely preventable. Had her surgeon adhered to prescribed methods of operation, crucial information would have been recorded that would most likely have prevented the woman’s injury. Instead, the surgeon admitted she did not follow protocol when she operated on the woman’s uterus.
This particular patient was undergoing surgery to have non-malignant tumors removed from her uterus. Surgeons are supposed to announce any item they insert or place inside the body of a patient so assistants in the room can record the item on a white board, then check it off once the item has been removed successfully. Part of the problem in this situation seems to have been that the surgeon never announced a particular item she placed in the woman’s vaginal cavity to check for air pressure during surgery.
Weeks later, the woman complained of pain, bruising and bleeding, which the surgeon told her was to be expected. At another post-op appointment, the woman lamented that her pain and bleeding had increased. She ultimately underwent a second surgery at another facility to have the surgical tool that had been left inside her body by the first surgeon removed. Anyone in Hawaii who has similarly suffered may seek consultation with a medical malpractice attorney to discuss filing a claim against any and all parties involved in a surgical error.
Source: sanluisobispo.com, “Santa Maria hospital fined for leaving surgical tool inside a patient“, Kaytlyn Leslie, Jan. 6, 2017