Post-Operative Care Errors - Malpractice
We see a large number of cases in which doctors and nurses do not carefully monitor their patients after surgery. When patients are not closely monitored after surgery, terrible harm will usually occur. It is essential for healthcare providers to observe and listen to the patient, monitor vital signs and study lab results in order to, among other potential problems, prevent or treat internal bleeding, preserve respiratory and cardiac stability, prevent clots or emboli from forming and to prevent or treat infection.
Post-operative infections are a particularly pervasive problem. A local infection can lead to a condition known as bacteremia or sepsis, which refers to a systemic bacterial infection that has gotten into the bloodstream. Sepsis is an absolute medical emergency and must be treated as such. If sepsis is not treated with proper antibiotic therapy, a large volume of fluids along with close monitoring and supportive care in an intensive care unit, a person can go into septic shock. Septic shock refers to sepsis accompanied by dangerously low blood pressure (hypotension), which can lead to kidney failure, multi-organ failure and, all too often, death. In fact, sepsis is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, killing over 30,000 people per year. (One of our partners achieved a 2.2 million dollar – policy limits - wrongful death settlement for a Ft. Myers, Florida family who lost a wife and mother due to a failure to make a timely diagnosis and render proper treatment for sepsis)
Other frequently seen post-operative care mistakes include failing to prevent, diagnose or treat post-operative blood clots. After surgery, patients are at elevated risk for developing clots, especially in their legs. It is imperative that doctors and nurses get patients up and walking, as soon as possible, and also give medications and other treatments, such as compression stockings, to prevent clots in certain cases. If not timely diagnosed and treated, clots can break loose and travel through the circulatory system, become lodged in vital blood vessels and block the flow of blood to vital organs. The result may be a heart attack, stroke, disabling injury in the limbs or pulmonary embolism. Sometimes, to prevent or treat pulmonary emboli, a deep vein thrombosis or other clots, anti-coagulants (e.g., heparin) and/or clot busting drugs must be given. Emergency surgery may also be necessary.
Post-operative negligence is among the most often seen and usually arises out of poor communication among the various healthcare care providers responsible for a patient’s well-being.
If you or a loved one has been injured by negligence and you would like to speak with an experienced medical negligence attorney, please contact us to speak to one of the negligence attorneys at Boyers Law Group, for a free consultation about your legal rights.