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Attorney Henry E. Valenzuela

What should you know about surgical wound infection?

On Behalf of | Jul 4, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

The potential risks of a surgery do not end after the operation itself. While many people do not consider it, the aftercare of a surgical site is just as important to your overall health and recovery as the actual operation.

One of the biggest potential risks you face includes infection. But how does infection risk impact you? What sort of complications can it cause? And what can increase your chance of facing this problem?

What introduces bacteria?

Medline Plus examines the potential of surgical wound infections. This occurs when bacteria enter the site of the operation, which is essentially just an open wound. Longer surgeries have a higher risk of shorter surgeries, too. For example, someone undergoing an operation over 2 hours long may end up introduced to more bacteria than someone facing a 30 to 60 minute operation.

Several sources can introduce bacteria to a surgical site, and some involve surgical error or negligence. For example, not cleaning the skin well enough can spread bacteria. So can operations on bacteria-filled organs. Improperly cleaned instruments or an operating environment that is not sanitized can introduce outside bacteria into the body, too.

Three types of infection

You can face three types of bacterial infections. They include organ, deep and superficial infection. Infections within the surgical site or organs present the most severe scenario. Deep infection affects the tissues and muscle. Superficial infection impacts the skin around the site.

Any infection can influence your heal time and even create semi-permanent or permanent complications. Some infections even require secondary surgeries. If you face such issues, consider seeking legal help to discuss compensation options.

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