Successful completion of a surgical procedure does not always mean you are clear for a smooth recovery. Numerous complications can develop in the days and weeks following the operation. One potentially life-threatening complication is sepsis resulting from untreated (or improperly treated) post-surgical infection.
Sepsis results when the body releases chemicals in the bloodstream in response to a severe infection. Untreated, sepsis can progress to a condition known as septic shock, dangerously low blood pressure, organ failure and death.
According to a 2010 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, post-surgical infections kill an estimated 48,000 people in the United States every year. By contrast, only about 15,000 people die from HIV/AIDS.
Hospitals that do not follow proper protocols can be breeding grounds for killer infections. Post-surgical infections can arise at the incision site or elsewhere in the body. Bedsores, urinary catheterization and IV lines all provide footholds for bacteria. People with compromised immune systems are more vulnerable to infections that can progress into sepsis. And with the frightening prevalence of drug-resistant bacterial strains, infections are an appreciable risk when undergoing any surgical procedure.
While some infections arise despite the diligence and care of health care professionals, in some cases, the infection or its consequences can be caused by medical malpractice such as:
Hospital negligence can also be a factor.
If you suspect that negligence contributed to post-surgical infection or sepsis, contact the experienced lawyers at Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC. We have been strong voices for justice on behalf of patients for more than 30 years. Our attorneys can not only help you find answers, but also secure a fair recovery for the harm you have suffered. We have the experience, resources and proven ability to handle even the most complex medical malpractice cases involving sepsis and infection.
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