Post-Operative Infection - Surgery Medical Negligence Solicitors Compensation


If you have been injured in the UK by a healthcare professional including a doctor, dentist, nurse or technician in a surgery, hospital or clinic and would like to speak to a specialist medical negligence solicitor about Post-Operative Infection following surgery without further obligation, just use the helpline. A surgery medical negligence lawyer who deals exclusively in personal injury claims involving clinical negligence will speak to you, giving free advice and information on how best to preserve your legal right to receive compensation as a result of injuries caused by medical negligence.

Post-Operative Infection

Postoperative infections are fairly common and are the leading factors when it comes to 30-day hospital readmissions in general surgery patients. The rates of infection depend on whether or not the patient is elderly, is on steroids, or is diabetic. Common sources of infection include the surgical incision site and deep within the body where the surgery was located.

There has come to be more dangerous types of infection, such as MRSA or methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This is one infection that is extremely difficult to get rid of because it is resistant to methicillin and most other antibiotics. Postoperative patients with poor immune systems often die in spite of antibiotic use.

In one study of 1442 general surgery patients, a total of 163 patients or 11.3 percent needed to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge because of postoperative complications like infection. Medicare is now holding hospitals responsible for those patients who return to the hospital for medical reasons and plans to do the same for surgical reasons.

Postoperative infections can be dangerous and can cause a patient to have pain, a need for further surgery, poor wound healing, a need for antibiotics, increased cost of healthcare, and an increase in length of hospital stay. The surgical procedure can fail completely, and there can be other postoperative complications, sepsis, failure of major organs, or even death.

Some ways to avoid postoperative infections is to give IV antibiotics pre-operatively and making sure that the patient is in a good physical condition before surgery. An antiseptic solution is given to the wound area before cutting into the wound to maintain sterility of the site in the entire surgical field. The operating tools are kept sterile and the surgical staff wears sterile clothing and masks to keep the risk of infection down. Hats keep hair and bacteria out of the wound.

There are several risk factors for a postoperative infection, which include the following:

  • Diabetes mellitus, types I and II, affect the immune system
  • Obesity
  • Being of older age so your immune system isn't as good
  • Emergency procedures, in which the sterile procedures can't be completely followed
  • Obvious wound contamination, such as with dirt, debris, pus or stool at the injury site or near the surgical incision site

Postoperative wound infections can be treated. If the infection is serious, it may need to be treated with appropriate IV antibiotics. Oral antibiotics are used in some cases but when the infection is severe, gut absorption of antibiotics is limited. The wound may need to be re-explored in order to drain pus, which is an abscess that carries bacteria in it. Doctors can look at the site and can culture it for the presence of resistant antibiotics. In such cases, as much of the site must be cut out as possible because antibiotics will be difficult to use alone. Hardware used at the surgical site may need to be removed until the infection clears before re-implantation.

Patients with postoperative infections require supportive care such as IV fluids, antibiotics, medications for pain and fever and nutritional needs. A prolonged hospital stay may be necessary. An ICU stay may be in order.

There has been a national effort to reduce postoperative infection sponsored by many hospital organizations and the Surgical Care Improvement Program or SCIP. It was launched in 2006 with several steps included in those to reduce infection, including better choices in preoperative antibiotics, better timing of antibiotic dosing, clipping hair instead of shaving hair at the surgical site, keeping blood sugars in a good range for diabetics and keeping colon cancer candidates at a normal body temperature.

Post Operative Infection - Solicitors Surgery Negligence Compensation

Our surgery negligence solicitors operate using the no win no fee* scheme and you will not have to fund or finance your post operative infection claim in any respect. In the event that the claim is successful the other side will pay our legal charges and if we are not successful you pay nothing at all. You have nothing to lose in taking up our offer of free advice on post operative infection claims and there is no further obligation should you decide not to pursue a claim further. We offer a true professional risk free service and you will only ever deal with a qualified, specialist medical negligence solicitor who answers to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Do yourself justice and call our offices today.


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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here