Anytime your skin is broken, you run the risk of infection since your skin works as a barrier to germs, bacteria and debris that could get inside your body. Arizona medical personnel know this, which is why they should keep a close eye on you after you undergo an invasive surgical procedure.
What begins as a minor infection could quickly become something life threatening such as sepsis if you are not properly monitored post-surgery. It may not surprise you to know that many medical malpractice claims involve infections that patients suffered after surgery.
Data regarding post-operative infections
Medical malpractice insurance companies are in a unique position to analyze data regarding claims from patients regarding infections after surgery. One such company, PIAA, reviewed claim data from 2006 to 2015. Of the 40,559 surgical claims reviewed and closed by the company during that time, no less than four percent involved post-operative infections.
That percentage represents approximately 1,550 claims for infections after surgery. Those claims were then broken down into the following percentages:
- Obstetric and gynecological surgeries represented 10 percent of the claims.
- Plastic surgery represented 17 percent of the claims.
- Orthopedic surgeries represented 28 percent of the claims.
- General surgeries represented 30 percent of the claims.
As you can see, orthopedic and general surgical procedures appear to have caused the majority of the post-operative infections. Payments to victims just for these two types of surgery reached well into the millions. Each claim was worth at least $300,000 -- and this data is from only one medical malpractice insurer. You would think that these numbers would spur improvements in post-surgical care in order to avoid putting patients through this type of suffering.
If you find yourself part of these statistics
Many post-operative infections require much more than just an antibiotic to cure. It is possible for an infection to cause sepsis or some other virulent infection (MERSA or staph infections) that could not only threaten your life, but cause irreparable damage to your body and life. You may find that you must make adjustments to your life and can't enjoy the activities you did prior to the incident. In addition, after suffering from one of these conditions, you are forever vulnerable to them.
Did you contract an infection that required additional medical care and cause you great harm? You may be able to file a medical malpractice claim seeking compensation for the harm done to you.