Can I pursue a Medical Malpractice Claim for my Staph Infection?

medical malpractice

Staph infection is a relatively common risk associated with surgery; in most cases, however, staph infections are not caused by medical malpractice or negligence. When a patient develops a post-operative staph infection caused by unsanitary conditions or when the infection goes undiagnosed and/or untreated, medical negligence may be at play. When a serious staph infection was caused by negligence, a medical malpractice claim may be the right course of action.

Hospitals and medical providers are obligated to inform their patients of any potential risks involved with a surgery including staph infection. In order to reduce the risk of being held liable for “routine” post-surgery infections, hospitals and surgeons typically require patients to sign paperwork stating that they understand the risks associated with the surgical procedure. For this reason, it can be difficult to prove that an infection was caused by negligence. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can analyze the circumstances around your injury and determine whether you have a case.

Post surgical staph infection statistics

According to a study released in the July, 2010 issue of the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the rate of post-surgery staph infections varied with the type of surgery. They found that staph infections were most likely to occur after operations to the chest and head. While the overall rate of infection was 0.47 per 100 procedures, cardiothoracic surgeries had 0.79 infections per 100 procedures and neurosurgical surgeries had 0.62 infections per 100 procedures.

When is medical negligence responsible for a staph infection?

Doctors are held to a reasonable “standard of care” for all types of medical treatments. The “standard of care” for surgical care typically includes post-operative care. When a hospital, surgeon or surgical team breaches the “standard of care” in the post-operation period it can lead to preventable infections. Examples of negligent post-surgical care include:

  • In most cases, staph infections are preventable with proper care and environment. When a medical staff neglects to clean a wound or incision site regularly, uses unsanitary tools to clean the incision or the environment around the patient is unsanitary; negligent post-operative treatment may be responsible for the infection.
  • Failure to diagnose or treat. When a patient seeks post-operation treatment from their surgeon or medical staff for pain at the site of the incision with symptoms such as aching, swelling and redness, the doctor should test for and rule out a staph infection. If a staph infection is found appropriate treatment should be administered, which may include drainage of the infection and antibiotics. If a staph infection is not diagnosed or treated then medical negligence may have occurred.

The Seattle personal injury attorneys at Morrow Kidman Tinker Macey-Cushman, PLLC have years of experience representing families harmed by medical malpractice. We seek justice for patients who have been harmed by preventable medical errors including birth injuries, hospital-acquired infections and wrongful death in Seattle and across Washington State. There are no fees or expenses to file a personal injury case as we only receive payment when we recover damages on your behalf. Do not delay; personal injury claims come with a Statute of Limitations, which means that they must be filed within a certain time frame of the injury.

Call us now at (206) 752-4366 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our compassionate, experienced attorneys.