Could your joint replacement surgery lead to sepsis?

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Legally reviewed by:
Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr.
May 23, 2019

Conditions that used to debilitate people in the past can now benefit from medical advances. Joint replacement surgeries happen all the time these days here in Texas and elsewhere. People who couldn’t walk without pain due to the degeneration of a knee or hip joint can receive a new lease on life by having the affected joint replaced.
If you are one of these people, you likely expected to regain your mobility and live without excruciating pain after the surgery. You anticipated your surgery with hope and excitement even though you knew risks were involved, but you thought those dangers came from the surgical procedure, not your post-operative care.
Doctors can’t completely eliminate bacteria
Surgeons, their teams and hospitals attempt to keep surgical suites as sterile as possible, along with any equipment used for a particular procedure. However, the chance of bacteria getting into an incision or another open wound, onto an instrument, or even on the implant itself remains. Most of the time, people heal as expected, but some people end up with an infection.
If you are one of those people, and your medical team failed to properly monitor you after your surgery, the infection could continue to worsen. Any of the following symptoms could indicate an infection:

  • Fever
  • Pain
  • Pain around the incision
  • Redness around the incision
  • Fatigue
  • Warmer than normal skin around the incision
  • Pus or some other fluid coming from the incision

These signs will usually appear within a few days of the surgery. However, if the infection is in the joint itself, it could take much longer for symptoms to appear. More than likely, pain would give you the first indication. Because the possibility of infection exists despite any precautionary measures taken by doctors, nurses and others, they have an obligation to provide you with the best care possible in order to quickly diagnose and treat an infection. Otherwise, it could get worse.
An infection could turn into sepsis
If you fail to receive the proper care, your relatively easily treated infection could turn into sepsis. When this happens, your immune system begins to attack your body. It could progress into septic shock and quickly become life-threatening. It might take a stay in the ICU to get you back on your feet. Even so, you could experience health issues for the rest of your life.
During this ordeal, you will incur financial losses. You may be able to pursue compensation for those losses and other damages you suffered if the evidence shows that your doctors failed to provide you with the best standard of care possible.

John A. Davis, Jr.


John A. Davis, Jr. and Steven R. Davis

May 23 2019

Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr. are experienced attorneys at Davis & Davis, a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice cases in Texas. With a deep commitment to justice that guides their ethical approach, Davis and Davis have dedicated their careers to helping victims of medical negligence. They and their team continue to advocate for clients, despite the challenges posed by Texas's cap on recoverable damages in malpractice lawsuits. Davis & Davis pride themselves on their extensive experience in the field and their readiness to meet clients across the United States.

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