Surgical procedures are a big deal for most patients. Whether the individual is nervous about anesthesia or the particular procedure being done, most people have a considerable amount of anxiety even going in for routine surgery. The only consolation is that people know that they are in qualified hands that are experienced, vigilant, and highly trained.
Unfortunately, the thing which most people take for granted during major medical procedures—cleanliness—has fallen by the wayside in recent years. The number of bacterial infections each year has been growing, and they now affect hundreds of thousands of surgical patients. These surgical site infections (SSIs) can be life-threatening, and can turn what was supposed to be a simple surgery into a painful battle with deadly bacteria.
Surgical Site Infections in Hospitals and Clinics Are Preventable
Doctors and hospitals have long used the excuse that infection is simply a risk that comes with surgical procedures, and it cannot be prevented. This, of course, is completely untrue. Many of the surgical site infections could have been prevented had the doctor and hospital acted within the medical standard of care, ensuring that the operating room, instruments, and surgical staff adhered to the proper hygienic guidelines.
A surgical site infection, or SSI, is caused by bacteria entering the surgical wound. This can be caused by many factors, but some of the most common infections caused by negligence are started by:
- Improper hygienic standards of doctors and operating room staff, such as hand washing
- Surgical instruments have not been properly sterilized
- Surgical instruments or tools are left inside the patient during surgery
- The operating room was not properly cleaned and sterilized
- Forced Air Warming (FAW) systems contaminate the surgical field
While it is true that surgical wounds can become infected despite great effort on the part of the surgical team and facility, another manner in which negligence can play a part is if doctors fail to diagnose or treat a surgical site infection after the fact. If your doctor is lax in his or her reaction to a potential infection following surgery, your health is in being put at serious risk.
Surgical Site Infections and Medical Malpractice Claims
Because of the standard risk of infection associated with surgery, it can be very difficult to prove that the negligence of your doctor or surgical facility was responsible for your infection. Not only will your case need to prove that the doctor was negligent, but your will also have to prove that your infection was the direct result of that negligence, and would not have occurred had the doctor or surgical facility exercised medical standard of care.
If your surgical site infection claim is successful, you will be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical expenses related to treating your infection
- Lost income from work you missed related to the infection
- Pain, suffering, and emotional damages
Put the Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys on Your Side
If you believe that your surgical site infection was the result of medical negligence, the medical malpractice attorneys at Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P., may be able to help. Our experienced medical injury attorneys have secured compensation for injured clients around the country. We offer complimentary consultations to discuss your case with one of our skilled medical injury claim lawyers. Phone us today at 202-759-5899 to schedule your consultation now.