ERNST & YOUNG
After you have undergone a surgical procedure, your doctor’s job is not done. Your doctor and/or nurse has a responsibility to provide post-operative care to ensure that you are recovering properly from the procedure. Quality post-operative care is critical to ensure that the patient is healing properly without post-op complications. Should a medical professional fail to meet the standard of care owed to all patients following surgery, this could result in severe, and potentially long-lasting, physical and emotional trauma.
The fact is that doctors have a duty to provide their patients with post-operative care. When they fail to monitor patients closely enough, their behavior may be considered negligent. If you believe that you suffered complications as a result of insufficient post-operative care, you may wonder if you are entitled to compensation. To help you better understand your options, here are five signs that you may have a post-operative negligence case.
There are standards of care that medical professionals must follow when monitoring a patient following a surgical procedure. Failing to follow the right procedures can lead to severe complications. In order to ensure patient safety following surgery, medical personnel providing post-operative care must take certain precautions. Then, if necessary they must treat potential complications. This includes giving patients medications at appropriate intervals, checking their vital signs regularly, and ensuring access to clean equipment.
Medical professionals must also check surgical wounds for signs of infection and make sure that surgical sites stay clean. If your doctor failed to follow proper procedures and, as a result, you suffered from post-operative complications, you have a negligence case. Keep reading for a look at common post-operative injuries and complications that can indicate negligence.
You Suffered From an Infection or Sepsis
One of the most serious risks of any surgical procedure is the potential for infection, and this is often a clear sign of post-op negligence. Infection occurs when bacteria enter the surgical site, and it can lead to severe complications for the patient. Left unchecked, infections can prevent the surgery site from healing, which can lead to a prolonged recovery process. Additionally, serious infections can spread to other organs, and these infections can even turn into sepsis, which can be fatal. This is why it is critical that medical professionals properly monitor surgical sites for signs of infection following any medical procedure.
Proper post-op care ensures that infections can be caught and treated quickly with antibiotics. However, if an infection was not caught early and led to serious complications, post-op negligence may be to blame.
You Developed Blood Clots
Another common sign of post-operative negligence is complications from a blood clot following surgery. Your risk of developing blood clots increases significantly following surgery. This is a well-known risk for which doctors take certain steps to prevent blood clots from forming. This includes helping you to perform light exercises to improve blood flow during your recovery. Alternatively, your doctor may have you use compression stockings and take medications to prevent clotting.
However, if these precautions are not taken and a blood clot forms in your veins, there is a risk that one of these clots could break away and cause a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal. Thusly, doctors need to take steps to prevent clotting and watch for signs of developing blood clots. If blood clots start to develop, your doctor can prescribe anticoagulants and/or thrombolytic medications to treat them. If your doctor does not take steps to prevent and/or treat post-operative blood clots, and you suffer medical complications as a result, this is a clear sign of negligence.
Post-Operative Hemorrhaging Occurred
Another potentially serious post-operative complication that can occur is hemorrhaging at the surgical site. With hemorrhaging, extreme blood loss can occur quickly, which can even lead to shock. If not treated promptly, this can cause organ failure and even death. Doctors have a duty during post-op to check for signs of excessive bleeding and provide prompt treatment. Treatments can include saline solution infusions to replace fluids as well as blood transfusions to combat blood loss. However, if these treatments were not administered quickly enough, and you went into shock, you may have a case of post-operative negligence on your hands.
Part of your ongoing post-operative care includes continuous monitoring of your progress once you have left the hospital. However, before you leave the hospital, it is critical that your doctor provides you with sufficient post-op instructions. This includes instructions on medication management, how to take care of the surgical site, and what you need to know about any physical restrictions.
Before you leave the hospital, your doctor should make you aware of the signs indicating post-operative complications. Insufficient post-op instructions could lead to severe complications and a prolonged healing process. Complications that result from insufficient post-operative instructions can be grounds for a negligence case. Indeed, your doctor has a duty to ensure that you have the tools to ensure you stay safe during your outpatient recovery.
Ultimately, you may have a post-operative medical negligence case on your hands if this care caused you to suffer. If you believe that you or a loved one has a post-operative negligence case, it is critical that you contact a skilled attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help walk you through the difficult process of filing a medical malpractice case. Then, they will work to build evidence that can help prove your doctor’s negligence.
Who Can You Trust with Your Case?
Have you or a loved one been injured due to negligence? We want to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you believe you have a case; time is an important factor. Interested in learning more? Get in touch with us so we can better evaluate and serve your needs in getting the justice your loved one deserves. You may very well be entitled to compensation.
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