The failure of doctors and hospital staff members to take appropriate actions to prevent the spread of infection during and following operative procedures places the lives of patients at risk. The Chicago medical malpractice attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have found that surgical site infections are far more commonplace than they should be due to a rise in the number of drug resistant bacteria strains and poor hygienic practices by surgeons and their staff. When an infection results in the need for further medical care or claims the life of a patient, it is important to determine whether negligence contributed to the complications and to demand accountability from the parties responsible.
A Widespread Problem that is Getting Worse
Roughly 200 people die from surgical site infections every day. This statistic comes despite increased awareness of the issue and the implementation of surgical checklists to help ensure that every appropriate measure is being taken to prevent the spread of microbial agents during operative procedures. Our Illinois medical negligence lawyers routinely review the protocols in place to prevent and treat infections when investigating cases on behalf of clients to determine whether there was a breach in the duty of care at some point during or following a procedure. Here are some of the many ways that a patient could contract a surgical site infection.
- The use of contaminated tools or supplies. It is important that every object that comes in contact with a patient has been properly sterilized and unclean surgical practices continue to contribute to the problem.
- Inadequate aftercare. If the patient is exposed to an unclean environment following a procedure and hospital staff does not take measures to ensure postoperative patients remain clean, an infection can set in.
- Rushing the procedure or the recovery. If surgeons do not make sure that their patients’ wounds are closed up properly, they run the risk of being infected. In the same manner, hospitals may attempt to discharge patients well before they are ready. It is recommended that all patients remain under observation long enough to ensure they will not develop an infection after being sent home.
Early Detection of an Infection is the Key to a Positive Prognosis
Sometimes there is nothing that a doctor can do to prevent an infection, but there is plenty he or she can do to diagnose and treat one. Even if a procedure goes well and every precaution is taken to ensure that the tools and equipment used was sanitized, the patient still develops an infection. As long as it is treated promptly, the patient will be able to recover and heal without many complications. The failure to diagnose infections, however, leads to severe complications that include septic shock, organ failure and death. If the infection spreads too rapidly or becomes resistant to medication, it may be necessary to remove the affected limb to save the patient’s life.
Common symptoms of an infection include fever, pain at the site of the incision, swelling, redness and the reopening of the wound. Nurses tending to patients who are recovering from surgery need to pay close attention for these signs, and when a patient becomes symptomatic, the infection must be diagnosed and treated quickly.
Let Our Illinois Medical Error Lawyers Review Your Case for Free
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is an award winning law firm dedicated to representing the needs of those who have been injured due to other peoples’ negligence. If you suspect that you developed an infection because your doctor or hospital staff failed to take appropriate action during or following your surgery, contact us to learn more about your rights and to schedule a free consultation with a lawyer. We have helped thousands of clients recover the compensation they were entitled to for their injuries and we can do the same for you.
Your physical and financial recovery is our priority, which is why we will never ask for legal fees upfront. You are also assured that if our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers are unable to secure damages on your behalf, our services will be free of charge.