How serious is a surgical site infection?

Having surgery opens a patient up to a host of issues after the procedure. This is one reason why proper care during and after the surgery is crucial for patients. One of the serious risks that patients face after a surgery is the risk of infection.

Why is infection a concern after a surgery?

During surgery, the surgeon makes an incision in the skin. The broken skin from the incision is a place that bacteria can enter the skin through. That bacteria can colonize and cause an infection that affects the skin, as well as deeper tissues.

What are some signs of a surgical site infection?

A surgical site infection can lead to fever, pain near the incision, cloudy fluid draining from the incision site and redness near the incision. Other symptoms are also possible depending on how deep the tissue is that is involved. Generally, superficial infections would have less severe symptoms than infections that are affecting deeper tissues.

How are these infections treated?

Generally, a surgical site infection requires antibiotics. The exact treatment depends on the severity of the infection and the type of bacteria that is causing the infection. In some cases, the patient might need surgery to treat the infection.

If you suffered from a surgical site infection, you might have had to get more medical intervention than you expected. You might have had to take off of work if you needed considerable care. All of this might lead you to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Understanding your options can help you to decide how to seek compensation for the damages.

Source: United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Frequently Asked Questions About Surgical Site Infections," accessed March 18, 2016

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