After a wound becomes infected, patients may go to the hospital for treatment. However, sometimes the hospital can be the source of infection. An infection in the hospital can lead to serious injury, including septic shock, amputation, or death.
Infection Shock and Amputation
When bacteria or a virus is introduced into the body, the body’s natural immunity system responds by attacking the infection and protecting body tissues. The body is not always able to control the infection and if the infection spreads, it could cause tissue to die, organ failure, and lead to infection shock.
One source of infection can be caused by perforation of the bowels during abdominal surgery. Even a small hole in the bowels can allow contents of the small or large intestines to leak into the abdominal cavity. Bowel contents can contain harmful bacteria that causes infection and inflammation inside the body. Peritonitis, or inflammation of the abdominal wall, can be fatal.
If the infection causes tissue death, the tissue may be so damaged it cannot recover. If the infection continues, it may spread, which can present life-threatening complications. Removal of the tissue may be necessary to stop the spread of the infected tissue. In extreme cases, this can lead to amputation.
Amputation is the surgical removal of a limb or body part, such as an arm, leg, fingers, or toes. After amputation, the injury victim may need prosthetics, a wheelchair, or other mobility devices to get around. However, even with prosthetics or mobility devices, many amputees have difficulty engaging in a full life and will require continual medicare for the rest of their lives.
Patient Files Medical Malpractice Lawsuit After Amputation
A 48-year-old mother of two children went to the hospital to have a hysterectomy. After the operation, the patient had a number of complications because of a massive infection. The patient had to have a number of follow-up procedures, and eventually lost her arms and legs because of the spread of the infection.
When the woman learned about a benign growth on her uterus, she scheduled an operation to remove the uterus. Doctors performed a laparoscopic surgery through a small incision in the abdomen. During the procedure, one of the doctors punctured the patient’s colon. The doctors did not notice the colon puncture and completed the procedure finding no complications.
Shortly after surgery, the patient began to show signs of infection, including low blood pressure, tachycardia, and low urine output. A nurse noted the abnormal signs but the doctor allegedly ignored the issue and ordered pain medication and an enema. Instead, the enema may have increased the amount of bowel contents going into the abdomen.
A CT scan later found the punctured bowel and the patient was rushed to surgery. Peritonitis had set in, and the woman continued to decline. Eventually, doctors had to amputate parts of her arms and legs, where gangrene had set in, in an attempt to stop the spread of the infection. According to the woman’s lawyer, the injury victim will require around-the-clock care and cannot take care of herself.
Surgical Error Medical Malpractice Lawyers
If a doctor or surgeon is negligent in performing a medical procedure, the doctor may have committed medical malpractice. When a doctor breaches the standard of care and causes an injury, the injury victim can recover monetary damages. Damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit can include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice or hospital negligence, contact the legal professionals at Gilman & Bedigian today. To discuss your malpractice injury with a member of our legal team, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (800) 529-6162 today.