When you come home from the hospital, especially for a serious surgical procedure, the last thing you should worry about is a dangerous infection that threatens your safety. Although it may sound like a remote possibility, the unfortunate truth is that thousands of patients suffer because of post-operative infections (also called hospital-acquired infections) every year.
As a matter of fact, it’s estimated that there are approximately 500,000 cases annually in the United States alone, with over 10,000 resulting in death or major disability. If you or your family members have been affected by a post-operative infection, our seasoned medical malpractice lawyers at Spohrer Dodd can stand by your side. Based in Jacksonville, we can take on cases anywhere in the nation – and we’re passionate about using our experience to fight for patient’s rights.
If you need to speak with a member of our skilled legal team about a hospital-acquired infection, call (904) 637-7721 today for a free consultation.
What Causes Post-Operative Infections?
Even as the healthcare industry continues to improve and advance, there are still dozens of points in the process where healthcare providers can be negligent towards their patients. From improperly sanitized tools to carelessness during surgery, you may contract any number of infections when you visit a hospital or doctor’s office.
The majority of hospital-acquired infections are staph infections, which originate from the methicillin-resistant bacterium known as Staphylococcus aureus, but there are a number of other viruses and bacteria that can cause an infection at surgical sites. If unchecked, these types of infections can become deadly in a matter of days, or put the patient into toxic septic shock.
Here are a few of the most common causes of post-operative infections:
- Unsanitary surgical tools
- Exposure to pathogens in the operating room or hospital bed
- Cross-contamination between different organs
- Bacteria entering the bloodstream through injections or catheter lines
- “Leaky gut syndrome,” or excessive intestinal permeability
- Failure to prescribe appropriate antibiotics
- Lack of proper post-operative hygiene care for the patient
Symptoms of Post-Operative Infections
Depending on the nature of your operative treatment or procedure, your infection may have different symptoms, or only manifest in a specific area of the body at first. However, because the body is so vulnerable to infectious disease and foreign pathogens after a major operation, these infections can quickly spread into the bloodstream and put your life and future at risk.
Some of the most commonly reported signs of post-operative infection include:
- Pus and cloudy discharge at incision sites or surgical wounds
- Pain and swelling at the surgical site
- Severe fever
- Visible redness around the wound
- Bloody drainage or bleeding at the site
- Chills and body aches
- Nausea and vomiting
Seek Fair Compensation for Your Injuries
In some cases, post-operative infections are not caused by physician negligence. However, because it most often results from surgical error, it’s important to explore all the possible avenues for your post-operative infection. These can require costly medical treatment to correct, and you may need to cover expenses for time off work and in-home care as well.
Whether you’re grappling with the unexpected death of a loved one or dealing with life-altering disabilities after your own surgery, you can trust our compassionate personal injury team to perform a full investigation into the incident. With 150 years of experience, over $1 billion recovered for our clients, and an in-house physician, we can seek the results you deserve after suffering from a painful infection injury.
Call Spohrer Dodd at (904) 637-7721 for your free consultation in Jacksonville.