A stay in the hospital for surgery is never a comfortable experience. Even if the procedure was smooth, many still face a long climb ahead as they navigate rehabilitation, medical bills, and the readjustment to everyday life to their best ability. Add to that podiatric malpractice and they may be facing the effects for a lifetime.
One of the biggest risks for patients after surgery is the risk of infection, especially if an operation took place on the foot. If not properly treated, infection can lead to a host of painful complications that can result in physical damage, or even severe septic shock that is a leading cause of hospital deaths. The US Center for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 25 hospital patients contracts a hospital-related infection each day.
The types of potential infections after surgery vary, but they all can have devastating consequences. Some of the more common ones include central-line infections, surgical site infections like skin infections or necrotizing fasciitis, sepsis, and MRSA, which is particularly dangerous because it is usually resistant to antibiotics like penicillin.
Can I Sue for Infection After Foot Surgery?
Healthcare professionals and doctors are obligated to follow strict protocols for the use of equipment and cleaning agents, and to take proper precautions to prevent infections in patients. Many infections stem from issues with ventilation, catheterization, injection administration, and contact with ill-sterilized equipment during surgery.
17 hospitals across New York City were levied with sanctions in 2014 after investigation found how they did not take proper steps and safeguards to stop serious infections. The sanctions also hit big teaching institutions like Lenox Hill Hospital and NYU’s Langone Medical Center, who were punished with a 1% Medicare reimbursement loss for the fiscal year. Brookdale Hospital Center incurred some of the harshest penalties.
It can be very hard to file a lawsuit after an infection because they are often seen as a general risk associated with any medical procedure. However, you might be able to sue for infection if negligence can be proven, which can include
- A surgical error leading to infection
- Failure by a doctor to prescribe proper antibiotics, or a failure to prescribe anything at all
- An initial misdiagnosis of an infection, or failure to diagnose until after significant damage occurred
- Failure by hospital staff in following procedures to prevent infection
In order to file a lawsuit, a patient must be able to show that they have suffered some sort of damage, (economic or non-economic). Economic damages can include things like higher medical bills or lost working wages, and non-economic damages can include psychological pain and suffering due to an infection.
An experienced podiatric malpractice attorney will be able to work with you if you or someone you love is suffering from an infection after surgery. They will be able to let you know if a malpractice case can be filed, and will also be able to fight for you in court to recover damages if negligence is shown to be the cause of the infection. To ensure you are fairly compensated for injuries that a doctor may have caused you or a loved one, please call us to set up a consultation today.