Bacterial Infections Contracted During Surgery

What are the causes of surgical related infections?

Infection is one of the most serious surgical related complication that a patient may experience. Infections post-surgery can lead to wounds that will not heal, fevers, the need for additional surgery or time in the hospital, and in the most extreme cases, death.  If you have suffered an infection following a surgical procedure, there are several potential causes. Medical malpractice is one of the most common causes of surgical infections and can stem from errors made during surgery or unsanitary conditions.

How Common Are Surgical Infections?

Surgical infections are estimated to occur in some 157,000 patients each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Most of these infections are considered preventable. Some of the most common types of infections include enterococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, and Coagulase negative staphylococcus.

There are several types of physician errors that could give rise to a surgical infection.  One possibility includes failing to properly prepare the surgical site, tools, and surgeon for the surgery. Shaving the surgical site has been found to increase the risk of infection, which can be minimized with clipping.  If a physician fails to properly clean his or her hands, this can lead to infection. Doctors must take care to clean all tools and prevent contamination, which can have devastating consequences. Potential sources of contamination include the drapes in the surgical suite, ventilation in the room, unclean surgical attire, and more.

Compensation for Surgical Infections

Patients who have suffered an infection post-surgery may have a viable medical malpractice lawsuit against their physician.  To prove your medical malpractice claim, you must substantiate that the physician acted negligently and that negligence was the cause of your surgical infection. You will need to show that your surgeon did not act as a reasonable doctor would under the circumstances.  If you can prove these elements, you can potentially recover damages for your medical bills relating to the infection, lost time at work, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

Surgical related infections can be quite serious and even life threatening.  Contact a medical malpractice lawyer right away if you believe your infection occurred as the result of medical negligence.

About the Author
Of all the different areas in medical malpractice, it is podiatry malpractice that has had a particular interest to me. With 42 years practicing law and representing hundreds of victims of malpractice, I have created a law practice in which my clients are comfortable knowing that their case is being handled with my personal attention, in the most professional manner, and without unreasonable delays.