Despite the image of surgeons as the top performers of the medical world, the doctors that perform surgeries are still human—prone to making mistakes and prone to negligence. The fact is, surgical errors happen more often than most people realize. Unfortunately, it is the patients that bear the consequences of these errors, errors which can lead to lifelong injuries, further medical complications, and even death.
At Davis Levin Livingston, our Hawaii surgical error attorneys are experienced in all areas of medical malpractice, including surgical errors. We have helped numerous clients effectively pursue legal action against surgeons and medical providers that have acted negligently. Our firm is ready to answer your questions and to help you work to get compensation for your injuries.
Call our office at (808) 740-0633 for a free consultation. Based in downtown Honolulu, we assist clients across all the Hawaiian Islands.
Types of Surgical Mistakes
There is a lot that goes into the typical surgery, which means there is also a lot that can go wrong.
Some common types of surgical errors include:
- Medication errors
- Leaving surgical instruments inside the patient
- Mistakes related to anesthesia
- Amputating the incorrect limb
- Performing the wrong type of surgery
It is disturbing to realize just how easy it is for a surgeon and his or her support staff to make life-threatening errors in the operating room. Every time you go into surgery, you are at risk. Even though you expect the best from your medical care provider, you never know whether those treating you will do their job correctly or not.
Common Causes of Surgical Errors
Patients like to think that their medical care providers, particularly their surgeons, are always on-point, acting as seasoned professionals, and doing everything right. But this is not always the case. Your doctor and the others in the operating room may be tired, intoxicated, careless, willfully negligent, or poorly trained. Any of these factors can lead to mistakes, regardless of how helpless you are on the operating table.
There may also be systemic issues that lead to surgical errors, such as hospitals that fail to maintain safety standards or medical care providers that force staff to work longer than they should or without adequate support. Even if the doctor is doing everything right, the employer may be creating an environment where mistakes are more prone to occur.
How to Tell If Your Doctor Made an Error
The reality of surgery is that you, as a patient, often have very little insight into whether anything went wrong. It is only once a surgeon or another medical care provider tells you that a mistake was made that you can be certain. However, you do have awareness of your body and your general health. You know better than anyone how you feel.
It is normal for there to be some downtime after even minor surgery, so it may take some time to realize if you are recovering from the original problem. But if you do not start feeling better when you should or do not see the results that were promised to you, there is a possibility that something was not done properly.
Sometimes surgical errors will be obvious. If you are the victim of an incorrect amputation, the mistake is readily apparent. But if you are the victim of something more subtle, you may need to visit another doctor to find out what your current condition is. Getting a second opinion—especially if you suspect your doctor or surgeon made a mistake—is always advisable.
Contact Our Medical Malpractice Firm Today
If you suspect that you or a loved one was the victim of a surgical error, the first step should always be to see another doctor for a second opinion. Once you have been looked after by a medical professional, your next step should be to contact a medical malpractice attorney. There is no excuse for a surgical error due to doctor negligence; the repercussions to your health may be substantial and long-lasting.
At Davis Levin Livingston, we can help you understand what your legal options are following a surgical error. Our Hawaii surgical error attorneys are highly skilled and knowledgeable in this area, and we are here to answer all of your questions.
Please contact us now at (808) 740-0633 to schedule your free initial consultation.