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Most surgeries performed in the United States go off without incident but who is liable when a patient develops post-surgical infection? In some cases negligence of the hospital, doctor, or equipment  can be at fault and grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

If you show any signs of a surgical infection following a procedure you should seek out immediate medical attention.  Some signs of infection may include redness and pain around the area where you had surgery, drainage of cloudy fluid from your surgical wound, and fever.  

Surgical Infection and Medical Malpractice

Surgical infection is often times avoidable and could have resulted from the actions of a doctors, other staff, poorly cleaned facilities, or improperly maintained equipment.  In some cases even equipment manufacturers can be held liable, such as with The Sorin 3-T machine used in open heart surgeries.  If negligence has occurred you may be able to hold the doctor, hospital or equipment manufacturer responsible for what happened to you.

For you to have any sort of a case you must first be able to prove that  negligence or a breach of duty has occurred with any of the part surgical team involved. This can include both the hospital itself and the crew involved.  Most surgeries require teams comprised of not just doctors but anesthesiologists, surgeons, surgical assistants, and multiple nurses.  Each staff member performs  a different job and mistakes can come from all levels that may result in infection.  Beyond this you must also be able to prove that the negligence which occurred was a significant factor in causing the infection.  

To have a legitimate case the negligence must meet a standard of reasonability.  Basically the situation needs to be bad enough that an average hospital just would not be encountering this.  Once again, these cases are rare as most hospitals and doctors around the country do quality work, but in the event that your situation is this unfortunate you will have a legitimate case and you can collect for damages from both the hospital and the doctors involved.  The damages that result from a surgical infection include:

  • Medical expenses resulting from the infection
  • Lost wages for time missed from work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • And sometimes punitive damages

The aforementioned Sorin 3-T Machine is a recent case of surgery infection that is very dangerous to patients.  The machines were contaminated by the manufacturer with the bacteria Mycobacterium chimaera. The bacteria grows in the device’s water tanks and is emitted as a vapor into sterile surgical rooms. For some patients, especially those who have compromised immune systems, infections from the bacteria can be fatal.

Daniel Weltin holds medical providers accountable when negligence is present.  If you have any questions about a potential case due to your medical treatment please call (510) 771-8999 today for a free consultation.

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If you or a loved one was hurt or died through someone else’s negligence, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. Call (510) 771-8999 now or contact us below. Get the compensation you deserve!

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