Doctors and other health care providers must take steps to prevent a patient from suffering a post-operative infection. A post-operative infection includes any infection that happens within 30 days after surgery, and can be related to an operation or the post-operative course of treatment. If you were harmed by a post-operative infection that you believe was the result of negligence, or if your health care provider failed to take proper steps to address a post-operative infection, causing you harm, you may have potential legal claims. The experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano can review your case and help you assert your legal rights.Post-Operative Infections
After a surgical procedure, you may suffer harm. Sometimes a patient reacts badly to a surgery and experiences an infection through nobody’s fault. However, there are situations in which an infection was preventable, but an appropriate safety protocol was not followed, and a patient is injured. In some cases, a doctor’s mistake during surgery causes a post-operative infection. In other cases, unsafe or unsanitary hospital conditions can result in a post-operative infection. You might be able to hold an at-fault health care provider accountable for the harm that happens to you if the provider’s conduct constitutes medical malpractice.Liability for Post-Operative Infections
In order to establish medical malpractice causing or arising out of a post-operative infection, you’ll need to establish: (1) the defendant owed you a professional standard of care, (2) breach of the professional standard of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. It is your burden to show that your health care provider didn’t use the degree of learning, skill, and care expected from a reasonable and prudent health care provider in the same specialty and within the same geographic region, given the same or similar circumstances. In other words, you’ll need to show that your own doctor’s conduct and degree of care was unreasonably negligent and that a reasonably competent and normally skilled doctor would not have given the specific care your doctor provided that resulted in a post-operative infection.
Surgeons and hospitals must abide by careful hygiene and strict sterilization in order to reduce the chance of post-operative infections. If you report potential infection symptoms like pain or fever after surgery, your health care provider should respond appropriately and in the same way that reasonably competent health care providers would. If your surgeon or the hospital staff didn’t abide by safety protocols meant to prevent post-operative infections where reasonably competent health care providers would have, and you were infected and harmed as a result, a court is likely to find there was a breach of the professional standard of care. Similarly, if you were not given oral antibiotics or another medication to treat a post-operative infection that occurred naturally, but a reasonably competent health care provider would have given you medication to treat it, the jury may find that there was a breach of the professional standard of care.
Additionally, health care providers need to be aware of risk factors for post-operative infections such as smoking, cancer, diabetes, obesity, abdominal surgery, a weak immune system, or surgeries that go on longer than two hours. Failure to take an appropriate medical history that would have alerted health care providers to the higher risk of post-operative infection may also be a breach of the professional standard of care.Damages
If you can establish liability for medical malpractice, you may be able to recover compensatory damages. These are damages that are meant to return you to the position you would have been in had there been no malpractice. These can include both economic and noneconomic losses, including medical bills, lost wages for work missed due to infection, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, emotional distress arising from the infection, and more.Consult a Dedicated Medical Malpractice Attorney in Syracuse
If you were harmed or a loved one died due to a post-operative infection in Syracuse, you can discuss your circumstances with a seasoned medical malpractice lawyer. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents people in Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout Upstate New York, including in Watertown, Canandaigua, Binghamton, Oneida, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Auburn, Lyons, Herkimer, Elmira, Wampsville, Utica, Lowville, and Oswego. Call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.