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Explore General Legal Issues

Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Post-Surgical Infections

by Ralph Griffin

Medical procedures are carried out with the expectation of improving the health status of a patient. However, sometimes, the opposite may occur due to unforeseen complications or negligence on the part of medical practitioners.

One such negative outcome can be post-surgical infections, which can lead to prolonged illness, additional medical expenses, and in some severe cases, even death. If you suspect that a post-surgical infection is due to medical negligence, consulting with a medical malpractice lawyer could be a critical step.

Understanding Post-Surgical Infections

Post-surgical infections, also known as surgical site infections (SSIs), occur within 30 days of a surgical operation or within a year if an implant was placed during surgery. These infections can range from superficial skin infections to more serious infections affecting tissues under the skin, organs, or implanted material.

Symptoms may include redness and pain around the area where surgery was performed, drainage of cloudy fluid from the surgical wound, fever, and in severe cases, sepsis. If these symptoms are noted, immediate medical attention is required.

When Does a Post-Surgical Infection Become a Malpractice Issue?

The presence of a post-surgical infection does not automatically imply malpractice. Infections can occur even with the highest standard of care, given the complex nature of surgery and the body's healing process. However, if an infection occurs due to negligence, such as failure to maintain sterile conditions, improper use of antibiotics, or delayed diagnosis and treatment of an infection, it may be considered malpractice.

The Role of Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Medical malpractice lawyers specialize in cases where medical professionals have failed to meet the standard of care expected in their profession, leading to patient harm or injury. Their role in a post-surgical infection case can include:

  • Establishing the Value of Your Case: Medical malpractice lawyers start by conducting a thorough case evaluation. They assess medical records, surgical reports, and lab results to ascertain whether there is substantial evidence to show that the healthcare provider was negligent and that this negligence led to the infection.
  • Seeking an Honest Consultation: Lawyers collaborate with medical experts to strengthen the case. These experts can help determine whether the standard of care was breached and how this breach resulted in the post-surgical infection.
  • Proceeding to Litigation: Once the case is established, the lawyer can negotiate a settlement with the defendant's insurance company. If a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, the lawyer may proceed to court, where they present the evidence and argue the case before a judge or jury.

Contact a medical malpractice attorney for more information.