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Symptoms of Infection After Surgery
After surgery everyone breathes a sigh of relief that they survived and are on the seemingly road to recovery. However, the coast is not clear yet. Patients and their care takers must be astutely aware of symptoms of infection after surgery.
Patients and their families must also be educated after surgery and upon leaving the hospital as to the serious and less serious symptoms of infection. A hospitalís failure to educate patients or their caregivers about the possible symptoms of infection after surgery might be considered medical malpractice.
A doctorís failure to treat infection post surgery is also considered medical malpractice.
First and foremost, people should watch for incision infections or infections in their blood.
Here are some tips for identifying symptoms of infection after surgery:
A fever over 101 degrees means your body is fighting an infection. Take your temperature every day at the same time.
Having trouble breathing? This could indicate a blood clot in the lungs. Seek medical help immediately.
Blood clots in the leg called deep vein thrombosis or DVT can move through the bloodstream to the lungs or brain, causing difficulty breathing, a stroke, or other problems.
Are you so very tired? After surgery everyone is weak but as you recover, you should get stronger every day. If you are feeling weaker, your body is probably trying to fight an infection or a blood clot. Seek medical help immediately.
Do you have an excruciatingly painful headache? A painful headache could mean a blood clot is moving to the brain. Call your doctor ASAP.
Are you suffering severe pain? If your pain has gone from bad to worse, you may be having surgical complications related to infection. Seek medical help now.
Is your incision pus-filled? A little clear drainage is normal but yellow or green pus is not. Pus is a sign of infection. Contact your doctor now.
Is your incision streaked with red, getting hard or hot to the touch? Some redness is normal at the incision site, but should decrease over time, rather than becoming redder as the incision heals. Red, hot, and hard incisions are signs of infection. An infected incision may begin to harden as the tissue underneath becomes inflamed. The incision may begin to appear swollen or puffy as well. Donít wait until it gets worse; seek medical help now.
Is your incision starting to separate? Cover the wound with a moist bandage or clean piece of cloth and get medical help.
Are you unable to eat? Patients need adequate nutrition to grow stronger and get better. If you are vomiting and cannot eat or take in liquids, seek medical help immediately.
Are you straining to urinate or have a bowel movement? Do not take any over-the-counter remedies. These are signs of more serious complications. Get medical help quickly.
Are you bowel movements bloody or tarry? Seek medical help now unless you were warned this might happen.
Are you coughing up blood or vomiting blood? Get help ASAP.
If you develop an infection or suspect that you may have an infection, it is important to get help right away so your doctor can provide antibiotics and any other therapy necessary to prevent the infection from spreading.
Your doctorís failure to do so would be considered medical malpractice.