Surgical site infections can cause serious injury

Many people in the Pittsburgh area will undergo surgery at some point in their lives. Most of the time, these surgeries go as planned, but occasionally, a surgical error occurs that causes a serious injury. One type of error is a surgical site infection.

A surgical site infection can happen for many reasons, but one reason is that the patient is too cold during and after surgery. Many times the surgery room is kept cold, but patients who are under anesthesia can suffer hypothermia from those temperatures. When a patient is too cold, they don’t receive enough oxygen to kill off the bacteria in their system. Their white blood cells don’t work as well when they’re cold and they’re not able to fight off infections as well. Patients who are warmed before an operation and then kept warm with special blankets while the surgery is taking place have less frequent surgery site infections.

Surgery site infections are one of the most common complications of surgery. A surgical site infection can mean that the patient has to spend more time in the hospital, can’t return to work as quickly, or may even die.

If a patient believes that they suffered from a surgical site infection because of a medical provider’s negligence they may want to speak with an attorney skilled in medical malpractice. An attorney can review the medical records and try to determine what happened to cause the infection. Compensation may be available for unexpected medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Surgical site infections are a serious side effect of surgeries. Sometimes these infections can be prevented by simply keeping the patient warm before and during the surgery so that their body is able to fight off any kind of infection. All surgeons and their medical staff should take every reasonable precaution to perform surgical procedures as safely as possible.

Source: The Scope, “Fighting infection in the OR“, Accessed on March 31, 2015