Too many patients who come to a hospital for an elective operation, unfortunately end up with an infection. Generally it’s a few percent, but that is many.
If you have a case where a patient came for an operation and ended up with an infection, here’s the issue:
The hospitals will claim, as will the doctor claim, that it is unfortunate and they did everything right, and the way it happens is there is a small risk of infection for any patient, and the germs may been in their body, but who knows….
Here’s what you do: You subpoena all of the hospital infectious disease control records, which they must keep, and although they can obviously leave the name of the infected patients out for confidentiality, you can determine whether or not there has been at that point of the patient’s admission any increased infection rate, including in the days or weeks before the admission.
Under those circumstances, was the patient informed that in this hospital, for their elective operation, they were at a higher risk of an infection and should not have the surgery at that time, or at least not in that hospital?
Through the discovery process you will find out which germs were involving which infections, and how they followed up to determine the cause of the infection, which they must investigate. Sometimes the sterilization procedure, through which all instruments including orthopedic surgery instruments, as well as general surgery, gynecology, urology, neurosurgery, cardio-vascular, and thoracic surgery instruments must must pass, and they have to be sure that in fact the sterilization documentation was complete.
You may determine that in fact there were failures to properly sterilize the instruments, the tools, which every patient would then have to be subjected to.
Through the infectious disease control records you may discover that the specific surgeon had a much higher rate of infection in their patients, and often could be from a chronic staph infection in their nose, and even though they wear a mask, germs do escape into the air. If the surgeon was a germ carrier, the hospital should have prevented him or her from being in the operating room until such time as antibiotic therapy had been administered and follow-up tests proved that this surgeon no longer was a carrier of these germs.