House Majority WHIP Steve Scalise was the most seriously injured victim in a June 14th incident when a gunman opened fire on a practice for a Congressional baseball game. Scalise was struck in the hip, with the bullet traveling through his body, requiring extensive surgery. Gunshots to the hip are extremely dangerous and often fatal.
Mr. Scalise was released from the Intensive Care Unit approximately a week after the shooting but had to be readmitted due to infection risks. Infections are extremely common after surgery, and taking proper precautions against them is best practice for surgeons and other hospital personnel. Failure to do so is far too common, putting the health of patients at risk.
Surgeons and nurses who work with surgical patients should be hyper-vigilant about the risks of infection. If an infection develops in a surgical patient, death or significant disability are highly possible. Joints and bone are highly susceptible to major damage after surgery, and infection can compromise the long term integrity of the body. Surgical incisions provide an opening for bacteria to enter the bloodstream and other tissue.
Knowing what to look for is most important. If the patient shows signs of fever or chills, their temperature should be taken immediately. Pus or drainage in the surgical site or bad smell emanating from sutures or stitches should be addressed. Some degree of pain or soreness is to be expected in many cases, but unusual pain or pain that isn’t controllable by the provided medication should result in immediate medical treatment.
If you or someone you love suffered a post-surgical infection and the doctors did not make a prompt diagnosis or failed to provide prompt treatment, long-term negative outcomes are likely. Please, consult with an experienced attorney who can evaluate your case and help you determine what next step to take.