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Is it medical malpractice if you get an infection during surgery?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | Medical Malpractice |

Getting an infection during surgery can sometimes be a sign of medical malpractice, especially if the infection stems from improper care or sanitary practices.

It is important to understand when an infection qualifies as malpractice and know the steps to take afterward.

When is an infection considered medical malpractice?

Not all infections during surgery will fall under medical malpractice. To consider an infection malpractice, it must result from a violation of the standard of care that healthcare providers owe to their patients. This means that the infection would likely not have occurred if the healthcare provider had followed the proper procedures. Common issues include:

  • Not sterilizing surgical instruments properly
  • Using contaminated implants or devices
  • Failing to follow established protocols for preventing infections

For instance, if a surgeon leaves a piece of surgical equipment inside a patient, leading to an infection, this could clearly be considered malpractice.

What to do if you suspect malpractice

If you suspect that your surgical infection was due to malpractice, the first step is to seek medical attention to treat the infection. Document your condition and the treatments you receive.

Next, consult a lawyer to help determine if your case meets the criteria for medical malpractice. They will review your medical records, consult with medical experts and guide you through the legal process.

Gathering evidence

Collecting and preserving evidence is key to proving a medical malpractice claim. This evidence might include medical records and documents related to your surgery and subsequent treatments. You may also have statements from witnesses, including other healthcare providers. Your attorney will use this evidence to build a strong case on your behalf.

Legal proceedings

Filing a medical malpractice claim involves navigating complex legal processes. Your attorney will file the necessary paperwork, represent you in court and handle negotiations with the defendants’ lawyers or insurance companies. The goal is to secure compensation for your additional medical costs, lost wages and other damages resulting from the infection.

Understanding your rights and the proper steps to take can empower you to seek justice for medical malpractice. If you believe your surgical infection is due to a lapse in your medical care, do not hesitate to take action to protect your health and your legal rights.