Surgical Errors Can Leave You In A Difficult Position Legally And Physically
When you have to have surgery, you put your health and safety in the hands of a hopefully skilled and experienced medical team. Unfortunately, surgeons and their medical teams are as likely to make mistakes as anyone else. And when they make a mistake, you’re often helpless to respond until much later.
An issue in most surgical errors is that you may not immediately know anything is wrong. If you’ve experienced nagging issues that may be related to a surgical error, reach out to the attorneys of Cronin, Fried, Sekiya, Kekina & Fairbanks. We are skilled in pursuing medical malpractice claims for clients who have been injured in Hawaii.
What Is A Surgical Error?
A surgical error is a mistake that leads to an injury to a patient while they are in surgery. It is a straightforward explanation of a serious matter. Common surgical errors include:
- Operating on the wrong part of the body
- Slipping while performing an operation
- Leaving tools inside the patient
- Performing an unnecessary surgery
- Infecting the patient with a foreign body
These errors may be easily missed but can lead to long-term complications and even death.
Why Do Surgical Errors Happen?
A complicated series of factors often cause surgical errors, but often they have been attributed to:
- Poor planning
- Low skill
- Poor communication
- Surgeon fatigue
You may have to put your trust in your surgeon, but if that leads to injury, you have options.
What Should You Do After A Surgical Error In Hawaii?
Some time after you awoke from surgery, you got the feeling that something was wrong. You believe that you might have suffered an injury due to an error that occurred during surgery, but you are not sure what to do. If you can, try to follow these steps:
- Seek medical attention immediately. Even if the doctor does not take your concerns seriously, insist on receiving treatment such as an X-ray or CT scan.
- Request copies of your medical records from the hospital where the surgery took place.
- Start a journal documenting your experiences. Include your symptoms and how they affect your day-to-day life.
- Do not speak to any insurance company representatives.
Most importantly, hire an attorney. Health care facilities and their insurers are incredibly powerful and they will do everything possible to minimize your damages. You need advocates who can stand up to them.
Did A Surgeon Leave Something Inside Your Body?
A shockingly common form of surgical error is when a surgeon or nurse leaves an instrument inside of the patient’s body. This is called unintended retention of foreign objects, or URFO. The foreign body left behind can permanently affect your health, often negatively. Just a few items frequently left inside unsuspecting patients include:
- Surgical sponges
- Clips or clamps
Some victims begin to suspect that a surgical tool remains inside of them when they experience unexpected symptoms after their surgery. Others do not find out until they have another x-ray. Warning signs for URFO include pain near the affected area, infection, bowel troubles, headaches or leg pain. If you believe that a foreign object is in your body, get medical treatment immediately.
Surgical Errors Can Have Life-Altering Complications
With hundreds of surgeries in existence, any number of complications can result after a surgical error. Some of the most common complications that you may experience include:
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Hemorrhages or blood clots
- Spinal cord damage
- Brain damage
- Perforated bowels
- Life-threatening infections
- Partial or total paralysis
Tragically, some surgical errors can also result in death. If you lost your loved one to a fatal injury caused by medical malpractice, get in touch with us to learn whether you have an actionable claim.
Put Your Trust In Our Hawaii Surgical Errors Attorneys
As the largest injury firm in Hawaii, we medical malpractice cases regularly. We know how to fight for you and how to listen. Contact our Honolulu office at 808-600-3514 or send us an email using this contact form.