Surgical Site Infections
Salt Lake City, Tooele and Price, Utah
Any type of medical mistake can have unfortunate consequences. But when an error occurs that causes a post-surgery site infection, the result can be potentially severe and even lead to death.
The Salt Lake City, Utah law firm of G. Eric Nielson & Associates, LLC has been providing experienced medical malpractice and negligence legal advice to victims of situations like surgical site infection (SSI) for more than two decades.
Unfortunately, the number of cases of SSI is on the rise, and the overall statistics are not comforting:
- Infection rates for some types of surgeries in the U.S. have increased by 11 percent in recent years, according to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than 1.5 million post-surgery infections occur each year in American hospitals.
- The CDC reports that of the 99,000 patients who die each year from healthcare-related infections, 22 percent are from surgical site infections.
Two Common Types of Surgical Site Infections
The two most common kinds of surgical site infections are:
- Superficial infections ones on the surface of the skin and the first layers of tissue beneath the skin. These are the least dangerous but do need to be addressed quickly to prevent further problems.
- Deep incisional infections affect the deep tissue layers, muscles and organs, and can be very serious if not treated immediately.
Causes of Surgical Site Infections
Healthcare professionals agree that most surgical site infections can be prevented. When they are not, a case of medical malpractice or negligence may have occurred.
Just a few of the reasons post-surgery infections develop include:
- Use of unsanitary surgical instruments
- Not administering antibiotics in a timely or appropriate manner before or after surgery
- Inadequate sterilization of skin prior to surgery
- Prior infection not treated before surgery
- Poor hand preparation by medical professionals before, during and after surgery
- Inappropriate surgical and post-surgical techniques
- Leaving an unnecessary catheter or other medical device in place
Have you or someone you love experienced a serious surgical site infection, or other surgical-related error, that could have been prevented? You may have a solid medical malpractice claim.