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Post-Surgical Infections And Hospital Infections

If you or somebody you love has suffered a serious infection following a surgical procedure or a stay in the hospital, and you suspect it was due to the negligence of the hospital or surgical staff, you may be entitled to bring a medical malpractice claim against them.

Surgical site infections can lead to serious health complications and may even result in the patient’s death. Therefore, it is the responsibility and legal obligation of the hospital and surgical staff to do everything they can to help prevent surgical site infections and other forms of infection.

Contact Peter Angelos Law If You Have Suffered An Infection After Treatment!

Health care is one of the biggest expenses that you face as citizens of the United States, and for the extortionate cost that you pay, you should not have to worry whether your hospital and surgical staff are following proper hygiene protocols.

If you have suffered a surgical site infection, staph infection after surgery or any other form of hospital infection, we can investigate your case on your behalf. Through our investigation, we can try to determine whether your case entitles you to bring a claim or not.

We offer an initial consultation and case evaluation free of charge, and we will take your case on for no upfront fees. This means you can pursue your case without fear of losing, as we do not take a penny if we cannot win your case.

Call us today to schedule a free consultation at 410-216-0009.

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Why Surgical Infections May Be The Result Of Medical Malpractice

In worrying statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 4% of all hospital patients will end up contracting a hospital-related infection. With the hand washing and sterilization training that is taught to our medical providers, this number is shockingly high.

In many cases, hospital-acquired infections result from medical negligence, failure to adhere to cleanliness, sterilization and poor sanitary protocols.

If your infection was caused by any of the above, then your infection was likely preventable. If it was preventable, then you may have suffered medical malpractice and could bring a claim to recover your damages and pursue compensation.

Your best option is to contact one of the team members here at Peter Angelos Law. We can advise you on your best options during a free case evaluation.

The Duty Of Care Your Medical Providers Owe You

Because of the seriousness of hospital infections, your medical providers, as part of their duty of care to you, the patient, have several responsibilities designed to keep you safe.

These key responsibilities include:

  • Hand hygiene: Utilizing proper hand hygiene is one of the essential ways that your medical providers can minimize the risk of transmitting SSIs and other infections. This includes washing hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers regularly.
  • Sterilization and disinfection: In order to reduce the likelihood of surgical site infections and wound infections, medical providers must ensure proper sterilization and disinfection of medical equipment, surgical instruments, and surfaces.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): All surgeons should wear the appropriate PPE, such as gloves, masks, gowns and eye protection. This PPE is designed to prevent the transmission of infections during surgical procedures.
  • Antiseptic technique: Making sure that the correct antiseptic techniques are used during surgical procedures is crucial. This ensures a sterile environment that reduces the chance of a surgical site infection (SSI). This involves avoiding contact with nonsterile surfaces and using proper sterilization practices.
  • Preventing surgical site infections: Practices like administering prophylactic antibiotics to patients and preparing all surgical sites with antiseptic solutions can help prevent SSIs and surgical wound infections.
  • Environmental cleanliness: All medical providers should be trained to maintain a sterile and clean environment in their work areas. This means ensuring that proper waste disposal and routine cleaning procedures are in place and that the disinfection of surfaces and patient rooms happens regularly. This is essential for disease control and reducing surgical wound infections.
  • Isolation precautions: If a patient develops an infection, it is crucial that the medical providers attending follow adequate isolation precautions. This can help minimize the risk factors associated with SSIs and wound infections.
  • Monitoring and surveillance: All hospitals should have their own system for monitoring infection rates and outbreaks. This allows for precautionary measures to be taken to prevent surgical site infections and other hospital-acquired infections.
  • Staff education and training: Ensuring that all staff are trained to a high standard in infection prevention and control measures ensures that they are kept up to date with the best practices, especially for surgical patients and for managing surgical wounds.

If the medical providers responsible for your care have failed to adhere to these practices, any infection or injury you have suffered as a result may be due to their negligence. This means you may be entitled to bring a claim against them and hold them liable for the harm you have suffered.

Types Of Hospital Infections And Surgical Wound Infections

Hospital-acquired infections, also known as nosocomial infections, can occur during medical treatment in a health care facility. These infections can lead to serious complications, extended hospital stays, and in severe cases, life-threatening conditions. Understanding the various types of hospital infections is crucial for patients and health care providers alike. Here are the most common types of hospital-acquired infections:

  • Surgical Site Infections (SSIs): SSIs occur at the surgical incision site and can involve the skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscles or organs. They are classified into superficial incisional, deep incisional, and organ/space infections based on the depth and tissues involved.
  • Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections: These infections occur when bacteria enter the bloodstream via a catheter or central line. They can affect any part of the body where a catheter is placed, such as the neck, groin or chest. Preventing these infections requires strict sterilization practices and proper PPE use during insertion and maintenance.
  • Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTIs): CAUTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through a urinary catheter. These infections can lead to serious complications, including kidney infections, urosepsis and kidney damage.
  • Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP): VAP affects patients requiring mechanical ventilation for more than 48 hours. It can cause inflammation and infection of the lower respiratory tract, primarily the lungs. VAP is associated with increased morbidity, mortality, length of hospital stay and health care costs.
  • Staph Infections: Staph infections are caused by common bacteria found in the nose or on the skin of healthy individuals. These bacteria can enter the body through open wounds, potentially causing minor skin infections, boils, abscesses or, in severe cases, sepsis.
  • Sepsis: Sepsis is a life-threatening condition resulting from the body’s overwhelming response to an infection. It can lead to widespread inflammation, tissue damage, organ malfunction and potentially death. Immediate diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent the progression to severe sepsis or septic shock.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of these infections is crucial for early detection and treatment. If you suspect you’ve developed any of these infections following a hospital stay or surgical procedure, it’s essential to seek medical attention promptly. In cases where negligence may have played a role in acquiring the infection, consulting with a medical malpractice attorney can help you understand your legal options.

Infection From Overuse Of Antibiotics

The overuse of antibiotics can lead to serious consequences, particularly the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These resistant strains pose significant challenges in treating infections, often requiring more potent or multiple antibiotics. In some cases, these infections may become untreatable, leading to severe complications or even death. Here are some common infections that can result from antibiotic overuse:

  • Clostridium Difficile Infection (CDI): This infection is caused by the Clostridium difficile bacterium, which can lead to severe diarrhea, colitis and potentially fatal complications. CDI often occurs after antibiotic use disrupts the normal balance of gut bacteria.
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA): MRSA is an antibiotic-resistant bacterium that can cause various infections, including skin infections, pneumonia, bloodstream infections and surgical site infections. Its resistance to common antibiotics makes MRSA infections particularly challenging to treat.
  • Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE): VRE are enterococci bacteria that have developed resistance to the antibiotic vancomycin. These bacteria can cause various infections, including urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections and wound infections, which are difficult to treat due to their antibiotic resistance.

Understanding these potential complications underscores the importance of responsible antibiotic use in medical settings. If you suspect you’ve developed an infection due to antibiotic overuse or misuse, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly.

Identifying An Infection After Surgery

Symptoms of a hospital-acquired infection may appear any time from two (2) to 30 days following surgery. Fever is one of the most common symptoms of infections, with patients suffering high temperatures, shivering, and aches and pains.

A prolonged cough with discolored mucus can signal a respiratory infection, while a burning sensation during urination may suggest a catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) in a hospital setting.

An altered mental state, such as confusion or disorientation, may indicate severe infection or sepsis in patients, while headaches can point to sinus or central nervous system infections.

Nausea and diarrhea are common gastrointestinal symptoms that can result from hospital-acquired infections like Clostridium Difficile, and redness or itching at the site of the surgery or device insertion may signify a localized surgical site infection or an infection associated with an implanted medical device.

Each patient and type of infection is different. Any physical abnormality or unusual sensation following surgery should get reported to your doctor.

Can I Sue If I Got An Infection After Surgery?

If you’ve developed an infection after surgery, you may be wondering if you have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. To successfully sue a medical provider for malpractice, you and your attorney must be able to prove the four elements of negligence. These elements are essential in establishing liability:

  • Duty: You must demonstrate that the medical provider owed you a duty of care at the time you developed the infection. This includes taking appropriate measures to prevent and manage infections.
  • Breach: You need to prove that the medical providers breached their duty of care through actions or inactions. Examples may include inadequate hand hygiene, failure to properly sterilize instruments or not adhering to recommended infection control guidelines.
  • Causation: It must be shown that the breach in the duty of care directly caused your infection and resulting injuries. This means proving that your infection would likely not have occurred if the standard of care had been met.
  • Damages: Finally, you need to prove that you’ve suffered damages as a result of the infection caused by the medical provider’s or hospital’s negligence. These can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and loss of quality of life.

Proving these elements can be challenging, especially in infection cases where it may be difficult to pinpoint the exact source of the infection or rule out other potential causes. This is why it’s crucial to work with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who has dealt with infection cases before.

If you believe you have a case, our team at Peter Angelos can help you with complex medical malpractice claims and work toward securing the compensation you deserve.

What Type Of Compensation Can I Recover After A Hospital-Acquired Infection?

If you’ve suffered from a hospital-acquired infection due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to various forms of compensation. The specific types and amounts of compensation can vary depending on the circumstances of your case, but generally include:

  • Medical expense reimbursement: This covers the costs of additional medical treatment required to address the infection and its complications. It may include expenses for hospital stays, medications, follow-up appointments and any necessary rehabilitation.
  • Lost income and benefits: If the infection caused you to miss work or affected your ability to earn income, you may be compensated for lost wages and benefits. This can include both past and future lost earnings if the infection has long-term effects on your ability to work.
  • Pain and suffering compensation: This noneconomic damage aims to compensate you for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the infection. It takes into account the severity of your symptoms, duration of suffering and impact on your daily life.
  • Diminished quality of life: If the infection has resulted in long-term or permanent changes to your lifestyle or abilities, you may be entitled to compensation for reduced quality of life. This could include compensation for the loss of enjoyment of activities you once participated in or changes in your personal relationships.

It’s important to note that each case is unique, and the compensation you may receive depends on the specific details of your situation. Consulting with an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you understand the potential compensation you might be entitled to based on the particulars of your case.

Our team at Peter Angelos can evaluate your case and work diligently to pursue the maximum possible compensation you deserve for the hardships you’ve endured due to a hospital-acquired infection.

Talk With A Medical Malpractice Lawyer From Peter Angelos Law Today!

When it comes to post-surgical infections and hospital infections, proving that negligence has occurred can be a difficult task, one best handled by a skilled and experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Here at Peter Angelos Law, we have a long history of service to the state of Maryland and have won numerous cases for clients suffering serious complications from a surgical or hospital infection. We have working relationships with many of the insurance companies that may be on the other side of the table, and we have access to some of the best medical experts in the field.

Once we take over your case, we become your fierce advocate and we will not stop until we have exhausted every avenue. We do not settle for less than you deserve. From the second you agree to representation, we build a trust-inspiring attorney-client relationship. This includes keeping you informed and educated throughout the case.

Do not delay, contact us today and arrange a free initial case evaluation at 410-216-0009.