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Surgical site infections pose serious risks to patients

Medical malpractice is serious problem in the United States. While politicians like to discuss medical malpractice as some abstract legal or economic concept, what many people forget is that there are real people who have suffered real pain in every medical malpractice claim. Maryland readers may be interested to learn that one of the leading causes of patient injury in the United States are infections which develop both during and after surgical operations.

While there are many causes of infection, some common causes include unsterilized operating rooms, infected equipment, hospital staff, contaminated prosthetics, pathogens elsewhere in the human body and even bacteria already present on the skin. These, however, are just a few of many infection sources.

Surgical site infections can cause serious, and sometimes even fatal, injuries. Oftentimes, infections caused by surgical errors result in severe pain, prolonged medical care, additional surgeries and, in some cases, even amputation. It is also possible for surgical infections to develop over time, festering for years after the procedure. Due to the very dangerous nature of infections, it is vital that any patients who suffer from an infection seek medical assistance immediately.

While not every infection is the result of hospital negligence or surgical errors, many are. Whenever someone suffers from a surgical infection caused by surgical errors they may have the right to recover damages. Because medical injuries can be so expensive, recovering damages can be vital to a person's ability to pay their medical bills and living expenses. It is also the only way to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.

Source: Wall Street Journal, "Steps for Surgical Patients to Fight Infection," Laura Landro, March 11, 2013

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