While we would hope it would be otherwise, infections after surgery are not uncommon. Johns Hopkins Medicine cites that some 3% of all surgeries result in an infection. There are various causes, symptoms and treatment for a surgical site infection (SSI).
What causes an infection after surgery?
Unfortunately infections after surgery are mostly due to human error. Most SSIs are caused by bacteria that get into the site of the surgery. This is due to failure of the staff to effectively clean operating rooms, surgical equipment, their own hands and patient skin.
If you were not given antibiotics prior to the surgery or if the area of the incision was shaved with a razor, this could also cause an infection to happen according to the CDC. Most SSIs occur within 30 days of the surgical procedure.
Three bacteria are the most common culprits: Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Pseudomonas according to Johns Hopkins reported data.
Signs that you may have a surgical site infection
If you recently had surgery and have redness and swelling, a fever and pain and tenderness at the incision site these are cause for concern. Any pus that is produced around the site or in a drainage tube is a definite sign that your body is fighting off a bacterial infection and you should see a doctor immediately.
Are there effective treatments for post-surgical infections?
Luckily, yes. Many superficial SSIs can be treated topically with antibacterial salves. Deeper or more invasive infections may require oral or IV antibiotics. In some cases additional surgeries may be needed. Many of these infections are preventable. Therefore if serious complications arise, or a loved one dies due to surgical complications after a surgical infection, it is in your best interest to speak with an Atlanta personal injury attorney whose practice focuses on medical malpractice.