Surgical Site Infection Lawsuit

surgery site infections

Surgery is always a scary prospect, even when there seems to be little chance of a complication. Complications after surgery because of an infection at the surgical site is just as frightening as the surgery itself and it is a very real possibility. The Center for Disease Control’s research shows that there are still around 200 people dying every day from infections they received in the hospital. While these are not all from surgical site infections, the rate of death from infections in the hospital is still alarming.

Surgical Checklists

One of the means by which hospitals attempt to reduce the number of problems they had with surgical site infections is the use of surgical checklists. These checklists help to prevent a number of different health issues and mistakes. The practice has been around for a decade now helping to ensure that there were fewer incidents of leaving foreign objects, such as tools, inside a person.

Infections can happen for many different reasons in the hospital. Sometimes, indwelling devices and items, such as catheters and mesh, can cause the infection. In the case of surgery, there can also be an infection at the site of the wound. Through unclean procedures or tools during the surgery, or because of improper and unhygienic care after the surgery, an infection can set in, which can lead to complications and even death in severe cases.

What Causes Surgical Site Infections?

Many hospital infections are preventable when the hospital takes the time to follow all of the correct procedures. Negligence and speeding through the surgery, closing the wound, and wound care management can all be the source of an infection. While there is always the risk of an infection setting into the body after surgery, the risks go up when untrained or unqualified personnel are providing care. Whenever a company or a professional is negligent, they are responsible for the results of that negligence.

Signs of a Surgical Site Infection

It is important for patients to know the signs of a surgical site infection as well. Some of the common symptoms that can arise after surgery include fever, redness at the site of the incision, swelling, and drainage from the surgical site. If the wound reopens, sometimes due to swelling, this can be another sign of an infection. Whenever you feel any danger of an infection for yourself or a loved one, even if you feel you might be exaggerating the symptoms, it’s important to speak with a doctor right away. Without treatment, infections can result in sepsis and death.

Surgery Infection Lawsuits

As the number of these infections increase, lawsuits surrounding them is growing as well. Infections that set in at the site of a surgery can be very dangerous. Over the past several years, many high profile lawsuits have sprung up surrounding hospital infections.

Several years ago, a woman in South Bay named Annette Ramirez from the Los Angeles area, sued doctors and the hospital after having a hysterectomy at the Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center. After the surgery, she suffered from an infection that eventually caused her to lose her arms and legs. She went through a number of subsequent surgeries in order to help with the damage she suffered. The doctors did not notice that near one of the surgical site incisions they had made an errant hole into her colon. Within the first 40 hours after surgery, she started to exhibit signs of having an infection.

After the surgery and the signs of infection presented themselves. Nurses let the doctor know, but he allegedly did not check for an infection himself. Instead, he ordered more pain medication and an enema.

Surgical site infections and other infections surrounding surgery can be very damaging and deadly. If they suffer because of the negligence of the hospital, they should consider talking to a qualified attorney.

View Sources

  1. Hospital Infection.org “Hospital infection is the next asbestos” http://www.hospitalinfection.org/nextasbestos.shtml
  2. Wisconsin Law Journal “Hospital infections spread, so do lawsuits” December 1 2008 http://wislawjournal.com/2008/12/01/hospital-infections-spread-so-do-lawsuits/
  3. CBS News “Thousands of women sue over alleged surgical mesh infections” February 8 2013 http://www.cbsnews.com/news/thousands-of-women-sue-over-alleged-surgical-mesh-infections/
  4. About Lawsuits.com “Mandatory Checklists May Not Reduce Surgical Complications: Study” March 21 2014 http://www.aboutlawsuits.com/mandatory-checklists-surgical-complications-study-61921/
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