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Risk Factors for Surgical Site Infections

The Becker Law Firm, LPA

One of the more common types of infections that patients may develop in a hospital is a surgical site infection. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that this kind of infection accounts for 31 percent of all hospital-acquired infections (HAI).

What are risk factors associated with surgical site infections?

Some of the factors that may contribute to the development of an infection after surgery include:

  • unsterile equipment;
  • surgical team’s failure to wash hands and arms properly;
  • failure to wear sterile gloves, hair covers, gowns and masks;
  • improper surgical site preparation;
  • lengthy procedures;
  • wound becoming dirty or contaminated;
  • unsterile drape over patient; and
  • heavy traffic of medical personnel in operating room.

Serious Surgical Site Infection Complications

Surgical site infections may be superficial (affecting only the area of the skin where the incision was made), deep (tissue underneath the incision), or may affect the internal organs in some cases. Further treatment including even surgery may be necessary to treat the infection.

An infection in the surgical site is just one type of HAI that patients may acquire. When they cause serious or life-threatening complications, there may be legal options available if the infection is the result of negligence and not simply an unavoidable risk associated with surgery. An attorney at The Becker Law Firm can help if you’re considering a claim following a serious surgical site infection you suspect was caused by negligence.