Surgery patients often enter hospitals with fear because of the operations they are about to endure—but should they be more concerned about the infections they could experience? Unfortunately, the answer may be yes. A recent report indicates that antibiotic ineffectiveness may cause tens of thousands of patients in the United States to develop infections after surgeries. Sadly, some of these patients will lose their lives because doctors have a difficult time treating these superbugs.
Why You Should Be Concerned About Superbugs
Up to half of the pathogens that lead to surgical infections are already resistant to antibiotics that are commonly used in the United States. As antibiotic resistance worsens and superbugs become stronger, so do the chances of acquiring infections that aren’t treatable. These superbugs can put surgery patients, particularly those who are also undergoing chemotherapy, at risk for developing serious problems.
Research estimates that if antibiotic effectiveness drops by 30 percent from the current levels, an additional 120,000 infections and 6,300 deaths could occur each year. Even just a 10 percent drop could result in 40,000 more infections and 2,100 deaths from infections after surgery.
Surgeries That Put You the Most at Risk
Although doctors typically prescribe antibiotics after most surgeries, some operations put patients at a higher risk for developing infection than others. These common, but potentially dangerous, operations include:
- Surgical abortions
- Cesarean sections
- Hip fracture surgeries
- Pacemaker implantations
- Spinal surgeries
- Total hip replacements
- Abdominal hysterectomies
- Colorectal surgeries
- Transrectal prostate biopsies
Of these, prostate biopsies could have the most potential for developing dangerous infections. Consider this: it is estimated that 42 percent of infections that occur after prostate biopsies—13,320 cases—each year in the United States are caused by bacteria that are resistant to a single class of widely used antibiotics, called fluoroquinolones.
Deadly Infections May Be Caused by Negligent Doctors
Just because infections are common, it doesn’t mean they all occur innocently. The doctor who treated your loved one could have caused his untimely death by being negligent. The attorneys at Wayne Wright LLP may be able to help you receive justice for a wrongful death that occurred to someone you care about. Get the help you need by calling 800-237-3334.