What Is The Most Dangerous Post-Operative Infection?
When it comes to the most horrific types of medical malpractice in the realm of surgery, many people believe that there can be nothing worse than having an object left inside the patient. In fact, these disturbing scenarios are quite rare: According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 1,500 patients are estimated to sustain injuries from retained foreign bodies left behind by surgeons every year. In other words, out of a total of 28 million annual procedures in the US, just over 5 percent of individuals suffer harm from such an error.
However, post-operative infection IS a common threat related to surgery. These conditions typically develop through negligence by attending medical staff and failure to carefully monitor the patient after a procedure. Life-threatening complications can develop, so it is important to discuss your remedies with a Tampa surgical error attorney if you or a loved one contracted any of the following in connection with a surgical procedure:
Sepsis and Septic Shock
Sepsis is an infection that develops because of an infection or introduction of other material that the human body perceives as a threat. The body mounts an extreme response to fight the infection, and the chain reaction spreads. If not detected and immediately treated, sepsis can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
Staph bacteria is often found in the hospital setting, but MRSA is one that cannot be killed by most conventional antibiotics. Without effective medication, this post-operative infection can lead to bloodstream infection, infection at the surgical site, and other life-threatening complications. Combating MRSA requires basic, common-sense policies by surgical staff, such as:
- Washing hands after every patient;
- Sanitizing the OR, surgical center, or procedure room thoroughly and frequently;
- Properly sanitizing surgical tools; and
- Using special safety precautions related to MRSA patients to prevent the spread to others.
Infections of the Blood
When in the hospital for a surgical procedure – or any other medical need – a central line will often be inserted into the patient. This tube is for delivering a continuous dose of mediation or other treatment, so it remains in place. Patients are at a higher risk of developing an infection when providers do not follow a specific checklist.
Surgical Site After a Colon Operation
There are also specialized precautions physicians and attending staff must adhere to with a colon surgery, particularly the administration of antibiotics before the procedure. These medications are effective at preventing an infection at the part of the colon where the surgeon incises. The consequences for the patient may include a longer hospital stay, usually in the ICU.
It is important to note that in most cases infections are considered known complications of a procedure and a not a deviation from the standard of care. In order to obtain favorable outcome on a medical negligence case involving infection, it is normally necessary to show the medical provider failed to take the appropriate steps to diagnose the infection and the Plaintiff’s condition was made substantially worse due to the delay in diagnosis.
Rely on a Florida Post-Operative Infection Lawyer to Pursue Your Legal Remedies
Proper patient care does not end just because the surgeon finishes the job. When health care providers are negligent with post-operative measures, serious infection could put your life at risk. To learn more about your options, please contact Greco & Wozniak P.A. to schedule a no-cost case review. You can reach our offices in Tampa, FL by calling 813.223.7849 or visiting us online.