Infections are an extremely common complication that may result from numerous medical conditions and procedures. Medical professionals must be aware of patients’ risk factors and take all of the necessary steps to prevent infections and to detect and treat them promptly when they do occur. Many infections are indicators of an underlying concern or medical error which may have been the cause of the infection or its spread to other areas of the body. The Chicago Injury Center represents patients throughout Illinois who have suffered from infections that were the result of negligent care or medical malpractice.
The Causes of an Infection
Infections are caused by the accumulation and growth of bacteria in the body, which have damaging effects to the surrounding tissue— causing inflammation, necrosis and other serious medical complications. Bacteria are able to gain access to the body through wounds, contact with material contaminated with microorganisms, tainted food or liquids or contact with infected individuals. The most common causes of bacterial infections due to medical malpractice include the following.
- Internal bleeding caused by medical error during surgical procedures.
- Failure to monitor patients for symptoms following procedures that carry the risk of infection.
- Use of contaminated medical equipment.
- Poorly maintained or unsanitary environment.
- Exposure to infected patients.
- Open wounds such as bedsores or unhealed incisions following surgical procedures.
Symptoms of an Infection
Most infections are treated through the use of antibiotics and patients respond well to treatment if the infection is discovered and treated in a timely manner. Common symptoms of infection include fever, redness or swelling at the site of a wound, the presence of pus or a foul odor, pain and discomfort, nausea or diarrhea and organ failure— which can result in death. Complications due to severe infections are most often the result of failure to properly diagnose an infection before it spreads and causes damage to vital organs. Septic shock is often the result of a minor infection that spreads to the bloodstream, where it can reach other areas of the body such as the heart, liver, kidneys or brain.
If you or a loved one has suffered severe medical complications due to an infection, it is important to determine whether medical staff followed standard procedure and if medical malpractice may have been a factor. Doctors and hospital staff may be liable if their actions or failure to act in an appropriate manner are the cause of injury or undue harm to their patients. You may be entitled to compensation to cover your medical treatment, recovery and any pain and suffering you needed to endure.
The Chicago Injury Center’s medical malpractice law team specializes in recognizing the failure of medical professionals to meet the standard of care and ensuring that the needs of those who are affected by medical malpractice are met. Contact us today for a free consultation with an attorney who can evaluate your case and answer any questions you may have about your rights and legal options.