If you have undergone surgical treatment, there is a small chance that you may catch an infection related to your treatment. Such post-surgical infections can delay your recovery and even create medical complications of their own. Below are some of the typical causes of such infections.
Improper Use of Antimicrobial Prophylaxis
Medical professionals know that surgery increases the risk of infection. The use of antimicrobial medication is one of the ways of reducing this risk. However, improper use of these medications might not help much. For example, using the wrong drugs, using the wrong dosage, or improper timing of antimicrobial prophylaxis can lead to post-surgical infections.
Improper Site Preparation
The surgical site must be properly prepared before the operation. The preparation includes removing all foreign substances, such as dirt and hair, which might lead to infections. You risk getting an infection if the site is not properly prepared. For example, you might develop an infection if the surgical area has hair and you are not properly shaved.
Improper Preparation by the Surgical Team
It is not just the patient that needs to prepare for surgery; even the surgical team must prepare. For example, the surgical team must put on sterile clothing, including gowns, gloves, and caps, so as not to contaminate the surgical site. Your risk of an infection increases if a member of the team doesn't prepare correctly, for example, by putting on non-sterile gloves.
Compromised Operation Room
The operating theater also needs to be prepared for each surgical case. All the instruments must be clean and properly calibrated. Everything, from the floor to the window drapes, must be clean and sterile. Otherwise, germs might jump from the contaminated areas to your surgical wound and trigger an infection.
Improper Wound Dressing
Not every post-surgical infection originates from the operating room; some infections begin during recovery. For example, your surgical wound will need to be cleaned and dressed routinely to encourage healing. The professional doing the dressing must use the correct procedures and sterile materials to prevent an infection. For example, failure to cover up the wound correctly might expose you to infections.
Delayed Diagnosis of Infection
Lastly, there are also cases where a small infection is not diagnosed in time and complications ensue. The complications can lead to expensive treatments and further pain and suffering that a timely intervention might have prevented.
If you do get a post-surgical infection, you should examine whether your infection is due to another party's negligence. Such negligence would give rise to a medical malpractice claim, which a personal injury lawyer can help you with.