Medical Malpractice Law
Following surgery, you have enough on your plate – recovery time, rehabilitation, medical bills, and working your way back into a routine. A post-surgery infection or retained surgical instrument only adds to the worry.
If you have experienced surgical malpractice or negligence in Memphis, TN, you need to contact The Chiozza Law Firm. Together, we will work to best represent you in the court of law.
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When you visit a doctor's office, hospital, or surgery center, it's not unreasonable for you to expect that facility to follow the strictest guidelines when it comes to sanitation and cleanliness. Unfortunately, some of these spaces fall short of this expectation, and when they do it's the patient that ends up paying the price. Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are more common than you think, and it's important to be prepared in the event that you or a loved one suffers as the result of negligence. A post-surgery infection, also known as surgical site infection (SSI), occurs when any type of surgery that penetrates the skin results in an infection. These SSIs can live anywhere on your body, but they typically reside near the point of incision.
According to the National Health Safety Network, three types of SSIs impact patients.
This type of SSI affects the skin, the immediate area around the incision, and any subcutaneous tissue. These infections result in possible redness, pain, or swelling.
This type of SSI impacts the fascial tissue and even your muscles. Beneath the area of the incision, this infection leads to possible pus flow, presence of an abscess, fever, or extension or separation of the original incision.
This type of SSI infects any part of the body not identified by a muscle or skin, meaning that the infection could be in a body organ or in an open space between organs. This type of infection leads to possible pus drainage or the presence of an abscess. This type of infection will likely be seen only through a reexamination of the incision or through an X-ray.
SSIs, which occur in 3 percent of surgeries annually, can present an array of issues and even threaten life. The severity of your infection depends on your unique situation. Every surgery is different.
Who Is At Risk?
The following individuals are more likely to experience an SSI if they fall into one of the following categories.
- Prior medical issues
- Frequent smoker
- Weak immune system
These infections are common after surgery or a hospital stay.
- Bloodstream Infections
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Clostridium difficle (C .diff)
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
Seek Treatment, Then Call Chiozza
If you believe that you have a post-surgery infection, you need to immediately contact your doctor. Most SSIs occur within 30 days of the surgery, so you should experience symptoms soon after your surgery. Allow the doctor to examine the wound and incision area to determine if you have an SSI.
Once you have an appointment scheduled or know that you have an SSI, contact your Memphis surgery infection attorneys at The Chiozza Law Firm. We have experience handling post-surgery infection cases and understand the laws associated with them.
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Instruments Retained After Surgery
Retained surgical instruments (RSIs), also referred to as retained foreign bodies, refer to any objects left inside your body following a surgery.
Studies indicate that an average of 5,000 surgeries and procedures result in RSI cases every year in the United States. Of course, this mistake on the surgical team’s behalf could lead to significant health injuries and possibly result in death.
Surgeons utilize an array of instruments during every procedure. While each procedure requires some specific instruments, other tools are used for mostly every procedure.
Frequent surgical objects left in the body include the following:
- Suction tips
- Drainage tool
Sponges consistently rank at the top of the list for the most frequent item left in the body. Why? Sponges suck up. When sponges absorb the blood during the procedure, it often takes the color of the blood and blends with the area of operation.
The most common area of the body for an RSI incident is the abdomen. With a large surface area and numerous organs to work around, the abdomen creates more opportunities for an instrument or sponge to hide.
Note that the surgical team can also leave staples and surgical clips in your body. This is common among surgeries as these instruments help you fully recover. While there is always a possibility that one could form a lawsuit because of staples or surgical clips left in your body, these are harder to win in court because they were meant to stay in your body.
We may know what is running through your mind – how can someone leave a surgical instrument in a body?
The incident is certainly inadvertent. No one purposely leaves an instrument in a patient’s body. Mistakes happen, though, and the surgical team may be liable.
Common reasons for leaving an instrument include the following:
- Emergency surgery
- Unexpected complications
- Instrument miscount
- Poor communication
Do you believe that you or someone you know has a case against the surgical team that performed the procedure? You need to speak with your surgery attorneys at The Chiozza Law Firm. You should act immediately so that we can discuss your procedure, what RSI was left behind, and how to proceed.
Call us at 901-290-6347 or complete the form at the link below, and we’ll schedule a free consultation.
Proving Hospital Negligence
It's important to remember that hospitals are businesses first and caretakers second. Anyone who has ever tried to discuss paperwork or billing with a hospital knows that speaking to the right person can be a challenge. When it comes to malpractice, it can be doubly frustrating. While it's rare that an institution or doctor ever means intentional harm upon one of their patients, it's up to all staff members to ensure that your stay is as healthful as possible. Doctors owe patients a duty of care, and by law, hospitals are responsible for maintaining safe, sanitary environments for all people in their charge.
Chiozza Law Firm has many years of experience pursuing damages and compensation for individuals harmed as a result of hospital negligence. To learn how Chiozza law can help you, reach out today and contact one of our compassionate attorneys.
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