Surgeons are some of the most educated professionals in the world. They spend years in school learning how to safely perform life-saving operations for the people in their care. Patients generally trust them and their decisions. After all, this person is going to cut open your body and perform necessary procedures to improve your health.
Regardless of education, surgeons still make mistakes. When that happens, it can have a devastating effect on the health of the patient involved. As somebody considering a surgery, you need to make sure that you are well informed about the potential risks of the operation. You should also make sure that your doctor has adequate support and best practices in place to prevent common surgical mistakes.
Leaving foreign objects in a patient’s body happens more often than you think
Every week, dozens of surgeons across the United States leave items that don’t belong inside a patient’s body after a surgery. Many times, these items are small. Gauze, sponges and similar absorbent and soft materials can easily get left behind as they assume the color of the blood they’ve absorbed. Those materials can quickly become a hotbed of infection for the patient, allowing bacteria a place to quickly breed.
Although it happens less frequently, it is also possible for a doctor to leave metal or plastic surgical implements inside a patient as well. These items can cause physical harm to a patient’s body on the inside, such as nicking arteries or puncturing organs. Any object, regardless of its sterility at the time of the surgery, could present a risk for septic shock.
Septic shock can be a life-threatening medical condition
Septic shock is the medical term for your body’s reaction to a severe infection. When it detects bacteria or other signs of infection, your body releases special cells and chemicals to combat infections. This can result in inflammation that worsens over time if the infection isn’t addressed.
Early sepsis occurs when the infection reaches your bloodstream and leads to inflammation. Severe sepsis happens once the infection begins to impact your organs, such as your kidneys. The final stage is septic shock, which can involve a drop in blood pressure that leads to heart failure, stroke and other organ failure. Septic shock is a severe medical event that often requires emergency care and hospitalization.
For many patients, septic shock is the result of an untreated infection, sometimes, that infection is the results of a surgeon leaving something that doesn’t belong inside the human body. For patients who experience the severe medical event known as septic shock as the result of a surgical mistake, there may be a possibility for a medical malpractice claim. After all, you shouldn’t have to pay the price for someone else’s mistake.