Patients who have developed gangrene as a result of surgery may be entitled to damages.
Gangrene is a condition which occurs when tissues like skin and muscle die while they’re still attached to the body. Gangrene isn’t just a profoundly serious condition that can lead to having body parts amputated. It may even result in the patient’s death due to putrefaction of those tissues. The bacteria that thrive on gangrenous tissue greatly increases the risk developing of life-threatening infections.
Causes of Gangrene
Gangrene may be caused in two ways. The first cause is when the tissues become infected with necrosis-causing bacteria. The other cause is too little blood flow. One of blood’s most important roles is delivering oxygen to the tissues and without that, the tissues will begin to necrotize rapidly.
The Surgery Option
Surgery is capable of causing restricted blood flow and infections, both widely known to lead to gangrene. Infections are also extremely common following surgery because the procedure allows bacteria easy passage into the body. To make matters worse, hospitals are a natural breeding ground for infectious and illness-causing bacteria. Surgery stresses the body and weakens immunity.
It is also possible that surgery may cause damage to a part’s blood supply. These injuries include obstruction, constriction, severance, removal, or adhesion and can reduce or eliminate oxygen delivery to the area.
Hospital and Surgeon Liability
There is never any guarantee that surgery will go as smoothly and precisely as desired. Medicine is not a perfect science and it affects everyone differently. For that reason, experiencing a bad outcome from surgery, such as gangrene, does not automatically indicate negligence. However, following proper procedures for preventing infection significantly reduces the risk of developing gangrene. If the hospital’s staff is doing their job correctly, they should be able to find and treat gangrene as soon as it appears.
As far as liability, issue lies in whether the surgeon or hospital staff acted in a responsible, professional, and conscientious way. In other words, did their level of care meet the accepted standards of the industry? If so, it’s likely that there is no liability. However, if they did not act appropriately, they may be considered liable.
Patients who have suffered gangrene as a result of medical malpractice may be entitled to considerable awards from their claim. Suffering from a missing body part, pain and suffering, permanent deformity, disfiguring scars, lost wages both past and future and medical bills are all things which factor in to how much damages one may collect from a lawsuit of this nature.