The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a surgical site infection as a disease or virus that is related to a surgical procedure and occurs at or near the surgical incision within a month of the procedure. There are many reasons why a patient may develop an infection following a procedure, but in some instances, the doctor, hospital, or medical facility may be held responsible.
Proving Medical Malpractice
Not all surgical infections are caused by medical malpractice, but there are ways to prove that negligence occurred. First, the patient (or family of the patient) must prove that there was negligence or a breach of duty on the part of the doctor, hospital, or medical facility. If the doctor’s behavior and level of care were negligent, or if they failed to adhere to the standard of care, they may be liable for medical malpractice. Second, the patient should prove that the negligence was the direct cause of the surgical infection. That is to say, if the doctor, nurse or facility were to adhere to the standard of care, the infection would not have occurred.
If the patient or family can prove these elements, they may be entitled to recover damages from the hospital, doctor, or medical facility. The damages include medical bills, lost wages for missed work days, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
When Infection Leads to Wrongful Death
In some cases, a post-op infection plays a part in the patient’s death. Assuming that all of the legal elements associated with medical malpractice are present, the patient’s family could pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. In these circumstances, the party requesting the wrongful death lawsuit is asking for compensation for their own losses such as emotional support, funeral expenses, and companionship.
Contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC Today
The lawyers of Cardaro & Peek, LLC have the experience and resources necessary to investigate and litigate all types of medical claims throughout Maryland and Washington D.C. Cardaro & Peek, LLC has medical personnel on staff and has access to nationally recognized, board-certified physicians and other experts, to assist in the investigation, analysis, and prosecution of all types of medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one have experienced malpractice, give us a call at 410-752-6166. Please visit our website www.cardarolaw.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn for more information.