Surgical procedures are worrisome for people in Louisiana regardless of the kind of surgery it is. It is not just the procedure itself, but that there is always the chance that there will be a mistake made by a doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist or anyone else involved. A machine might not work correctly. Other mishaps can occur. This can result in worsened condition, serious injury and even death. When this happens, those who were affected must be cognizant of their right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
A machine that was used when doctors performed open heart surgery on children was found to have been the cause of infections in 12 of the patients so far. This machine is meant to cool the patients as the surgery is being performed and their hearts are stopped. After the procedure, the machine warms the person as the heart is beating once more. Four of the patients were found to have an infection at the site of the incision. It is not yet known if there are any other infections.
The surgeries were performed earlier in the summer and the facility sent notifications to 55 patients who might have been exposed. Tap water was used with the machine in the past and this is believed to have been a source of the infection. Although these patients had the procedure done with filtered water, there was a germ in the tap water that was not cleaned and contaminated the surgical site as a mist. The machine has been removed from service and a new one is being used.
A possible surgical error is even more fear-inducing when the it might have affected children. A surgical mistake can lead to a litany of consequences. These can be clear to the naked eye or more nuanced. They can happen immediately or take time. It is only after the fact the problems that accompany a medical mistake become clear with the potential of more procedures, a long hospital stay, long-term damage and worse. Those who have been damaged by a medical mistake must make certain they are fully protected.
The families of the children who were exposed to this machine should be aware of the potential damage that could have been done. A full investigation is necessary along with the gathering of evidence and information.
Source: cbsnews.com, “12 children contract serious infection after surgery at New Orleans hospital,” Sept. 12, 2017