Infections Acquired During Surgery
Four key safety concerns come into play in every surgery. First, patient safety requires a surgeon, at the time of surgery, to take steps to prevent infection. Second, patient safety, and the success or failure of the surgery, requires that the surgeon properly perform the surgery so that no “do over” surgery is required, because the risk of infection increases with ever additional procedure. Third, as a matter of patient safety, an accurate and complete operative report is required to be created by the surgeon shortly following a surgery to document treatment history and provide a baseline of information to judge patient conditional changes against. Four, patient safety requires that if signs and symptoms of infection appear, they must be promptly investigated, and any infection must be promptly treated.
The steps that must be taken to prevent surgical infection depend on the extent of the surgery. Sometimes special surgery rooms known as clean rooms are required. However, while surgical centers and operating rooms are supposed to be maintained as sterile environments, sometimes they are not kept free from bacteria and viruses that are harmful to patients. If you contract a postoperative infection it can increase your recovery time or lead to other serious medical complications. If you believe you have contracted a postoperative infection due to negligent medical care please contact an attorney.
While this list is not exhaustive, postoperative infections that commonly are associated with medical negligence include:
MRSA or other Staphylococcus (staph) infections
Surgical site infections
Pneumonia and other respiratory infections
Urinary tract infections
Even if before surgery you signed papers acknowledging the risk of potential infection, you still may have a claim. While a surgeon or other medical provider cannot be held responsible for unpreventable exposure to infectious agents, you may have a case for medical malpractice if a healthcare provider’s actions caused or raised your risk for contracting an infection.
If you or someone you care about has suffered a surgery related infection, and have questions about this type of malpractice, please call and arrange a time for a consultation.