In an article found on our website we wrote about the issue of infections acquired while in the hospital. One of the infection types we wrote about in that piece is surgical site infection. In this post we will delve further into the topic.
There are multiple indicators that someone who has recently undergone an operation might have a SSI. Some of those signs are visual including a wound that is swollen, red and draining pus, fluid or blood. Red streaks radiating from the site may also be visible. Other symptoms include a bad smell, fever and pain. Individuals who experience these symptoms should quickly seek medical attention.
Once diagnosed–possibly via MRI, ultrasound, X-ray, a test on a sample of tissue from the wound or blood test—various types of treatment may be used. Cleaning or debriding the wound before bandaging could be part of the treatment as well as the prescription of medicines that in addition to attacking the infection could help decrease swelling or pain. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy and vacuum-assisted closure may also be necessary.
There are certain factors that when present could increase the risk of a SSI occurring such as old age or foreign objects found in the wound. Medical conditions that weaken an immune system like heart conditions or diabetes could also contribute to a higher risk. Smoking is also another contributing factor.
A SSI can cause serious complications for a patient. When a preventable infection occurs and causes damage a medical malpractice lawsuit could be filed against the health care workers responsible for it. Financial compensation recovered in a successful lawsuit of this nature could help cover the expenses that accrue as a result of the infection.
Source: Drugs.com, “Surgical Site Infections,” Accessed Dec. 12, 2014