Doctors and surgeons have a duty to help patients avoid infection related to medical treatments. This duty includes carefully monitoring a patient after medical procedures, including surgery, and quickly and accurately treating any infections that arise. Early detection and treatment can greatly increase the chances of successful recovery and diminish the impact of such an infection. A failure to diagnose infection early enough can result in added injury to the patient and may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Post-Operative Infections: Symptoms, Treatments And Effects
All medical procedures come with a certain amount of risk. It is part of a doctor’s duty to review all the possible risks and complications with the patient before the procedure is done. Some common complications that may occur include:
- Infection around incision site
- Embolism: This is an obstruction of a blood vessel by a foreign substance such as a blood clot.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis: This is a blood clot deep in the body, such as in the veins of the leg.
- Shock: This is a condition in which the main organs and tissues of the body fail to receive an adequate supply of blood and are thus deprived of oxygen.
- Pneumonia: This type of infection in the lungs can be caught after an operation, often due to bacteria in the hospital.
- Sepsis: This type of infection spreads throughout the body through the blood. It usually emanates from another untreated infection, such as bedsores, UTI, or pneumonia.
Signs of post-operative infection include:
- Patient is overly tired/lacks energy.
- Patient has a fever.
- Patient experiences swelling or redness at the site of the incision.
- Patient is experiencing increased pain.
While pain and tiredness are common after surgery, these symptoms should fade in the days after the procedure. Normal recovery time varies depending on the treatment the patient has undergone.
The biggest consequence of a post-operative infection is usually financial. Longer hospitalization, more medications, pain and suffering, and additional procedures to treat the complications increase the patient’s treatment costs, sometimes exponentially. The longer the infection goes undiagnosed, the greater the damages.
Preventing all complications from a medical procedure is unrealistic; however, it’s possible to decrease the risks by following the proper techniques and infection control guidelines from the American Medical Association. When a doctor or surgeon fails to mitigate the risks of infection or properly monitor the patient, a failure to diagnose infection may be grounds for a malpractice claim.
Get Help With Fort Lauderdale Failure To Diagnose Infection Claims
Lisa Levine is an experienced Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice attorney who helps patients in Palm Beach, Dade and Broward counties and all surrounding areas who have been harmed by medical negligence. If you suffered as a result of a failure to diagnose an infection in a timely manner, call 954-256-1820 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.