When you face surgery, you have enough concerns connected with the procedure that you shouldn’t also have to worry about developing an infection after surgery. Yet every year in the United States, as many as a million patients suffer bacterial infections as a result of surgery.
Developing a bacterial infection at the surgical site is serious, as it can be life-threatening and fatal.
If you or a loved one has suffered a bacterial infection after surgery, you may be entitled to file an Illinois medical malpractice claim.
A Chicago medical malpractice attorney has experience in this area of law and can help determine what legal options you may have available. When medical negligence causes you to suffer further injuries, you may be eligible to receive compensation.
Surgeries that Can Lead to an Illinois Medical Malpractice Claim
While a patient can develop a bacterial infection anywhere, there are some areas of the body that are more susceptible, such as the bloodstream, which can develop septicemia. The respiratory and urinary tracts are also quite vulnerable to infection.
There are also certain procedures that pose a greater risk of infection after surgery, including:
- Appendectomy – risk is heightened if the appendix has ruptured, with the risk of blood poisoning if the untreated bacterial infection enters the patient’s blood stream.
- Colonoscopy – improperly cleaned colonoscopes can lead to bacterial infections.
- Colon cancer surgery – bacteria that inhabit the large intestine or colon raise the risk for bacterial infection.
Of course, any type of surgery can pose the risk for infection at the surgical site. Left untreated or undetected, the consequences could lead to severe illness.
When there is a failure to detect or treat a bacterial infection, this may be a case of medical negligence and you may be entitled to pursue compensation through an Illinois medical malpractice claim.
Risk Factors that May Lead to an Infection after Surgery
There are risk factors that can increase the chance a patient will develop a bacterial infection after surgery. Some of the risks pertain to the patient’s health, such as those who have diabetes, are malnourished, smoke, use steroids or are obese.
Because of these risk factors, doctors need to use extreme caution when performing surgery.
They owe a standard of care to the patient to make sure the surgical site doesn’t become infected and that the increased risk factors are carefully considered.
Other risk factors that may put a patient at an increased risk for bacterial infection include:
- lengthy surgery;
- signs of infection before surgery that were not treated;
- inappropriate use of antimicrobial prophylaxis (antibiotics to prevent bacterial infection);
- improper skin/surgical site preparation;
- shaving the surgical site rather than clipping it;
- unsterile equipment, room ventilation, surgical attire or drapes; and
- inadequate hand washing.
Keep in mind that even in a sterile hospital, bacteria can grow and spread. This is why hospital staff must take every precaution to keep it from infecting patients.
How a Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help
It can be difficult to prove that a bacterial infection was the result of medical negligence, which is why you need the help of a knowledgeable Chicago medical malpractice attorney. An attorney knows the type of evidence that will be needed to help prove your Illinois medical malpractice claim.
A Chicago medical malpractice attorney will thoroughly investigate your case, examine all evidence, collect documentation, medical reports, charts and anything else that will help prove medical negligence.
When you have suffered a bacterial infection after surgery, you may have the right to receive compensation for your additional medical expenses, along with other damages, such as pain and suffering. A Chicago medical malpractice attorney can explain the types of damages you may be eligible to recover in an Illinois medical malpractice claim.
When to Hire a Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorney
A Chicago medical malpractice attorney at the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C. has dealt with similar cases to yours and knows the best course of action for your claim. To improve your chances at a fair settlement and take the burden out of all the paperwork involved in a medical malpractice claim in Illinois, contact us today for a free case evaluation – 312-263-1080.