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Preventing surgical site infections

When New Mexico patients go in for surgery, they often do not expect that there may be complications. One complication that can occur is a surgical site infection which, while relatively uncommon, can be harmful.

Although surgical site infections can be serious, they are treatable should a patient begin symptoms. Usually, the treatment is an antibiotic, though which antibiotic depends on the type of infection. Occasionally, the infection may be severe enough that the patient may need another surgery. However, most doctors, nurses and other hospital staff do everything they can to prevent these infections. They usually use an antiseptic agent to clean their hands and arms, wear special covers over their faces and hands and even give the patient a round of antibiotics prior to the start of the surgery, among other precautions.

There are also a few preventative measures that patients can take to help prevent SSIs. For example, they should let their doctor know if they are on any medications or if they have chronic health problems, such as diabetes or allergies. They can also avoid shaving the area where they will be having surgery. Once the patient is at home, they should avoid touching the area and keep have family members clean their hands prior to visiting.

Infections during or after surgery can arise from many causes, including a surgical error or negligent operating room staff. A patient who has incurred one after a surgical procedure may want to speak with a medical malpractice attorney to determine the best way to seek compensation for the harm that has been done.

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