After Surgery, I Got a Bad Infection. Can I Sue?

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What is medical malpractice in DC?

Medical malpractice means that a health care provider did not meet the standard of care while taking care of you. And, as a result, you suffered an injury.  

The standard of care is really the rules doctors, hospitals and HMOs need to follow to keep their patients safe and healthy.

Your health care provider owes you this standard of care throughout the time you are under his/her care - this means from the time you first arrive at the hospital to the time you leave (and in some cases even after that). If you underwent surgery, your surgeons and the rest of the hospital staff were responsible for you before, during and after the procedure.

So, what happens when something goes wrong? Like a surgical site infection?

Sometimes patients don't take well to surgeries, and sometimes they recover at different rates - there's nothing anyone can do about that, unfortunately. Sometimes infections just can't be avoided - they are a risk of the surgery and being in the hospital.

Sometimes, infections are the result of negligence on the part of the surgeon or the hospital. Sometimes its caused by miscommunication before the surgery, mistakes during surgery, unsanitary surgical rooms and tools and a host of other issues. 

But the most common problem with infections is that they are not detected, diagnosed and treated by the hospital in time.  In other words, hospitals know infections occur - they need to test and then treat for infections. Sometimes they don't call for a specialist to consult with you - one who can diagnose and treat your infection before it causes serious harm.

Because in severe cases, an infection can be overwhelming, leading to serious health consequences like septic shock.

But, what if you had a serious infection after surgery? What should you do?

The first thing you should do is get information and talk to an attorney if you suspect your injury is the result of medical malpractice. We've written books on medical malpractice like Picking Up the Pieces After Medical Malpractice: A Parent's Guidewhich will tell you all you need to know if you're worried about whether your son or daughter, or any child, was the victim of medical malpractice and help you discover if something has gone wrong. The best thing to do is to get educated about your rights and options.

Then, you need to talk to a DC medical malpractice attorney. If something has gone wrong, you need someone who understands what you and your family are going through - and how difficult life will be because of the injury, so they can help you and your family. Call us at 202-393-3320 today to speak with one of our lawyers about your case - it's a free, no obligation call and will put you on the right track. 

Frank R. Kearney, Attorney-at-Law
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Experienced DC Workers' Comp, Long Term Disability & Accident Lawyer
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