Infections are a nuisance. We know that they can be very dangerous and they can even be deadly. Anytime there is an open wound in injury, and infection can manifest itself and cause serious injury. When it comes to surgery, it is well-understood that an infection is a risk of the surgery. There is an open incision and cut, and that is all an infection needs to take root. When you consider that there are tools and objects going inside of that incision, it is just asking for the possibility of an infection.
Thus, infections are indeed a common risk for a surgery. It is as simple as that.
HOWEVER, this does not mean that—because it is a common risk—that is it not medical malpractice. There are some types of infections which are unavoidable and could not be mitigated or prevented. That is, the healthcare team does everything right and an infection can still result.
But there are other types of infections which are caused by the negligence and carelessness of the healthcare team. This could include improperly sterilizing equipment and gear which will almost guarantee an infection. This is medical malpractice. Another common issue could be improperly scrubbing in or breaking the sterilization field, but still performing the surgery. This is also medical malpractice.
Given these examples, it should be apparent that it may be hard to prove what type of infection is caused by the negligence of a healthcare provider and what type of infection is a common risk. There are ways to assess what bacteria and type of infection it is, such as bacteria commonly on the skin will likely be a common risk. But bacteria such as those from fecal material may not be a common risk.
One of the most obvious types of infections which is usually not a common risk is a hospital acquired infection of a drug-resistant bacteria. You may have heard these called as superbugs. These types of infections are usually from the hospitals and commonly occur from not sterilizing equipment or from the hospital setting, such as the beds, materials, or tables. These are serious infections and commonly deadly.
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