Most people leave the hospital after surgery expecting to start feeling better. For an unlucky few, infection may prolong their expected recovery. The following are signs of a potentially serious infection and good reason to call your doctor:
A low-grade fever is normal, but call your doctor if your temperature reaches 101 degrees or higher.
Bacterial infections typically produce a foul odor. If you smell something bad coming from the incision area, you should contact your doctor regarding the possibility of infection.
A small amount of clear discharge is normal at any incision site, but foul-smelling or dark-colored discharge is cause for concern.
If the area around your wound appears to be swelling, feels hard, or full of fluid (like a water balloon), these are signs of a potential infection.
Your wound should start going away, not getting worse. If you see that the red area is getting bigger, you may want to call your doctor. Be especially wary of any red “streaks” around the incision site, as that is a common sign of infection.
While infection is a known risk with any surgery, negligence in the operating room can contribute to a serious infection. If the surgeon, aide, nurse, table, or surgical equipment was not properly sanitized, this can contribute to infection.
If you suspect that negligence is at the root of your pain, you need help proving your suspicions. Speak with an experienced St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer today. Call Alvin Wolff at 314-241-2500 for a free consultation or to request a copy of The Guide on How to Pick a Lawyer.