Surgery is an invasive procedure, requiring the doctor to cut open the body, place instruments inside and then close the body again. In this process, it is very common for bacteria or other foreign species to make it inside the body. There, they may attack the tissue and cause illness. This is referred to as infection.
Since it is common, surgeons should know to be vigilant about infection after a procedure. They have no excuse for overlooking or ignoring possible signs. An infection that is not treated can lead to far worse conditions, including sepsis and gangrene.
If you have suffered further injury because your doctor missed signs that a wound was becoming infected after surgery, contact Atlanta failure to treat infection lawyer Emanuel Balams. Emanuel Balams represents patients who have suffered from sepsis, gangrene and other conditions stemming from an untreated post-surgical infection, and helps them get the recovery they deserve.
Contact Balams Law Group today at (404) 445-2005 to schedule a free consultation. Emanuel Balams represents clients throughout the Atlanta area, including in Johns Creek, Lawrenceville, Sandy Springs, College Park, Roswell, Norcross, Duluth, Smyrna, Brookhaven, Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Milton, Decatur and anywhere in Fulton, Clayton, DeKalb, Gwinnett or Cobb Counties.
Any time during a surgery when an instrument pierces the skin, the human body's natural protection against bacteria and other elements, the risk of infection is present. Even though doctor disinfect their equipment, foreign bodies can come from anywhere, even the air.
A typical surgical site infection (SSI) will occur within 30 days of a procedure. It may be at the place where the skin was cut, somewhere around it or deep in the tissue or organs. Symptoms of infection include redness, tenderness, warmth, discharge (pus), fever and a failure for the surgical wound to heal.
If an infection is promptly treated, it will usually cause no further damage. However, the longer it goes untreated, the more painful and dangerous it can become. Infections spread as the bacteria reproduce and attack other parts of the body.
Untreated infection can cause gangrene. Gangrene can be caused by the bacteria Clostridium. Infections cause healthy tissue to die and be deprived of oxygen, where these bacteria thrive. They release gas and poison the body, causing gangrene. In many cases, the only treatment is to amputate that part of the body.
Even more dangerous is sepsis. Sepsis is when the blood stream becomes infected, thereby taking the bacteria throughout the entire body and infecting those parts. The victim may go into septic shock. Sepsis can result in organ failure and death.
Doctors, surgeons, nurses and other medical professionals are held to a higher standard than most people. They are held the standards of their profession. A reasonable doctor would be aware of the likelihood of infection after a surgical procedure, look for potential symptoms and promptly recommend a course of action upon discovering any.
Hospitals are also responsible for maintain sufficient staff and monitoring patients. An infection can appear and spread quickly.
Doctors who miss these signs or ignore them may be liable for damages, as may hospitals who fail to maintain staff and/or procedures for dealing with infection. Damages can include the medical costs of reversing or treating the worsened state of infection, any missed wages caused by illness, pain and suffering and any other damages that can be attributed to the failure to treat an infection.
Under the Constitution of the State of Georgia, there may be no arbitrary limits on the damages you are awarded. If the malpractice insurance company fails to offer a satisfactory settlement, the full extent of your damages will be determined by a jury.
Sepsis: The National Institute of Health maintains this page giving information on sepsis.
Sepsis Alliance: This is a nonprofit organization that promotes awareness of sepsis and seeks assistance for sepsis patients.
You put your life in your surgeon’s hands when you go under the knife. That includes both during the procedure and afterward. Both are dangerous times involving careful attention. If your doctor fails to properly monitor wounds, they could be liable for the damages you suffer due to an infection that spreads. Contact Atlanta failure to treat infection lawyer Emanuel Balams at (404) 445-2005 to schedule a free consultation.