In almost every incident of hospitalization, either for treatment or surgery, the patient will walk out the door better than when they were admitted. Doctors, nurses, and staff work to ensure your health and to remedy any ailment from which you currently suffer. In nearly every instance, patients recover from surgery or treatment without any issue. Sometimes, whether it is the body not responding to the surgery/treatment, or due to any airborne or cross-contaminated illness, a patient will develop an infection, a not entirely uncommon event; hospitals have sick people, the body fights off foreign invaders such as medicine, or attacks a surgery site — in other news, things can happen — and the physicians and nurses will work to mitigate the chances and treat the infection.
In less common cases, the doctor, surgeon, nurse, or medical staff will misdiagnose an infection – or miss it entirely – and then issues compound and things get out of hand quite quickly. If left untreated, a patient will develop sepsis, an inflammation throughout the body caused by chemicals in your blood meant to fight infection, and then septic shock, where your organs begin to shut down. As you can see, simply by missing an infection diagnosis, a patient can face life threatening illness due to medical negligence. All it takes is a dirty medical utensil or apparatus and lack of attention for infection to develop and spread. At this point, you’ll need to discuss your case with a Texas malpractice lawyer to know if it was an act of negligence that caused your infection.
Proving this negligence and that it is the fault of the hospital and/or its staff is the difficult piece of the puzzle and requires going over the details of your admittance, stay, and infection with a Texas malpractice lawyer. The first step is to determine when the infection started and how. The infection cannot be related to the patient’s malady when they entered the hospital, that is, if they have strep and it somehow aggressively spread to their lymph nodes, it would not be the hospitals fault as that can happen naturally in the human body. If an infection develops within 48 hours of admittance, it will likely be considered what is called a hospital acquired infection.
From here, it must be determined how the patient acquired it out of three potential ways. Either they developed it because of a compromised immune system in conjunction with their admittance, because of non-sterilized equipment in the hospital, or from the care given to them by the doctors, nurses, and medical staff. In order to find the root cause of the infection, Texas malpractice lawyers will often consult medical experts, including other doctors, to examine the case to determine where things went wrong.
Infections quickly turn into sepsis which can lead to damaged organs and potentially death; when the hospital and its staff are responsible for overlooking a serious infection, you should not have to suffer more for their negligence. If you or a loved one have been the victim of malpractice because of a doctor’s negligence, or if a loved one has died due to insufficient care, we urge you to contact our expert lawyers to discuss the details of your case and how we can help.