All medical procedures carry some risks. Medical professionals have a legal duty to do what they reasonably can to minimize those risks. The failure to live up to that duty is medical negligence. Of course, the risks from an operation do not end the second the procedure has been completed. Instead, patients still face tremendous risks in the hours, days and weeks following an invasive operation. To protect the health of the patient and ensure recovery, medical professionals must provide patients with high-quality postoperative care. When they fail to do so, they can be held liable for medical malpractice.
What is Postoperative Negligence?
Postoperative negligence is the failure by surgeons, doctors or hospital staff to provide the proper conditions for the patient to make a healthy recovery. Postoperative negligence comes in a number of different forms, including:
- The failure to monitor the vital signs of the patients;
- The failure to check for common postoperative complications, such as bleeding;
- The failure to prevent infections;
- Not properly administering necessary medications; and
- Not adequately warning a patient of postoperative risks.
Postoperative Negligence: Common Injuries
Many very serious injuries and complications can result from postoperative negligence. In fact, the failure to give adequate postoperative care could even put a patient’s life at risk. The single biggest threat is that of infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 700,000 patients become victims of hospital-associated infections each year. You are rarely at more of a risk for a serious infection than you are during, and immediately after, a surgical operation. While infections are relatively common, they are still incredibly serious. As many as 75,000 hospital patients die from hospital-associated infections each year. Medical professionals and medical facilities must do everything they can to prevent infection. When an infection does occur, it must be diagnosed and treated quickly. Another major threat following operations is blood clots. Surgery often causes temporary immobility and this immobility can lead to blood clots, especially in the legs. Finally, injuries can also occur because of the failure of doctors to warn patients about restrictions. Certain activities can cause damage to the surgery site and patients must be made fully aware of these activities so that they can be avoided.
Were You a Victim of Postoperative Negligence?
We can help. At Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. our Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys handle cases in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and throughout the nation. If you were a victim of postoperative negligence, please contact our team today to schedule a free review of your case.