What should I do regarding a post-surgical infection?

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What should I do regarding a post-surgical infection?

I am contacting your firm to see if I could possibly get some legal advice. I amA 36 year old female nurse. Approximately, 3 months ago I had a microdisectomy surgery for herniated discs and spinal bone spurs. Around 2 -3 weeksAfter surgery I began to notice that I wasn’t healing well. I had hardness, pain, redness and irritation at the surgical site. I went in for my 3 week follow-up and

was assessed by my neurosurgeon who assured me that everything was fine despite my complaining of these symptoms. I was told to just continue putting betadine on the wound. Around 1 week after that visit, I began to have a low grade fever and chills. This went on for around 3 days. At that point, I

became concerned because my fever wasn’t going away with fever reducers. I called my neurosurgeon’s nurse and she assured me that I was too far out of surgery for this to be an infection. She suggested that I see my primary doctor. I made an appointment to see my primary that same day. She assessed me and ran some flu, strep and lab tests. They all came back negative except for an elevated white cell count which can be indicative of an infection. My primary doctor called my nurse to tell her that she felt that my symptoms may be surgery related. My neurosurgeon’s nurse asked me to come into their office the next day. She assessed the wound which was swollen and red. She once again assured me that this was normal but she gave me antibiotics called levaquin for 10 days. The following day my surgical wound opened up and began draining fluid. I became alarmed and went to the ER since it was after hours. The nurse practitioner on call that night made a call to my neurosurgeon for advice. My neurosurgeon advised him to give me a shot of rocephin 2 grams intramuscular and send me home. I was given th rocephin and sent home. I received a call from my neurosurgeon later that night. He said that he felt like I was getting worked up over this because I’d gone to his nurse, my primary doctor and was now in the ER within a few days. I was distraught. I

could not believe what I was hearing. I explained that his nurse referred me to my primary doctor and that she also called me in to his office the very next day. I told him that the only reason that I went to the emergency room was because my surgical wound had opened up and was draining and it was after hours. He then said that he would talk to his nurse and that I should come in to see his nurse that Monday. He called to follow up the next 3 nights in a row. When he asked how I was feeling, I

explained that I didn’t feel well and that I felt as though my symptoms were getting worse. He assured me that these symptoms were the result of me having too much fat and that this is the fluid that was draining. I told him that the fluid was no longer clear but that now it was cloudy, yellow and thick.

He again asked if I had my red streaking on my back or fever of 102 or higher. I said no to both and he said that meant no infection. He also called me in some additional rocephin and doxycycline. I asked him that if he thought that this was an infection to which he replied,

Asked on April 26, 2018 under Malpractice Law, Texas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence, which is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable medical practitioner in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against the neurosurgeon, it may be possible to settle the case with her malpractice insurance carrier.
When you complete your medical treatment and are released by your doctor or are declared to be permanent and stationary, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss. Those items should be included in your claim filed with the malpractice insurance carrier.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement. The medical reports document your medical condition and treatment, and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills. Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the neurosurgeon's  malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with the settlement offers, reject them and file your lawsuit for negligence against the doctor.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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