Hip replacement surgery can be a daunting experience, but it's often a necessary step for people suffering from joint pain and mobility issues. While the vast majority of hip replacements are successful, there are risks involved, and sometimes things can go wrong. One such complication is a post-operative infection, which can be a devastating setback for patients.
It's important to note that not every infection that occurs after hip replacement surgery is a result of medical malpractice. However, if the infection was the result of negligence on the part of the surgeon, hospital, or medical staff, it may be possible to pursue legal action. Negligence can take many forms, from a failure to properly sterilize equipment to a failure to recognize the signs of infection and take appropriate action.
Infection can also occur at the fault of the hip replacement’s manufacturer if the product is deemed to be faulty. If a hip replacement device is defective, it may increase the likelihood of infection or lead to complications that make infections more difficult to treat.
How do I know if my hip replacement is infected?
If you have had a hip replacement and are experiencing symptoms that concern you, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. Infection after a hip replacement can be serious, and early diagnosis and treatment can be critical to a successful outcome.
Some common signs and symptoms of a hip replacement infection may include:
- Pain or stiffness in the hip or thigh area that does not improve with medication or rest
- Swelling, warmth, or redness around the surgical incision site
- Drainage from the incision site or persistent wound drainage
- Fever or chills
- Fatigue or weakness
- Nausea or vomiting
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you must contact your healthcare provider immediately. Your doctor may order imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI, to evaluate the implant and determine if an infection is present. They may also perform blood tests to check for signs of infection.
If an infection is confirmed, treatment may involve antibiotics, surgical removal of the implant, and possibly revision surgery to replace the implant. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to preventing complications and achieving the best possible outcome.
How do I file a lawsuit after a hip replacement infection?
To pursue a defective medical device case, you will need to show that the device was defectively designed, manufactured, or marketed, and that the defect caused your injuries.
Your attorney will likely need to investigate and gather evidence, such as medical records, product documentation, and testimony from medical experts. They must also calculate your damages, including any medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Additionally, if you believe your infection is due to the negligence of your healthcare providers, the first step is to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. Your attorney can investigate your case and determine whether you have a viable claim for medical malpractice.
To file a lawsuit for medical malpractice, you and your attorney must prove the following four elements:
- Duty: The healthcare provider owed you a duty of care.
- Breach: The healthcare provider breached that duty by acting negligently or failing to meet the accepted standard of care.
- Causation: The healthcare provider's breach of duty caused your hip replacement infection.
- Damages: You suffered damage as a result of the hip replacement infection.
Seeking legal advice as soon as possible is essential if you are suffering from medical malpractice or a faulty medical device. Once you and your attorney have determined that you have a viable claim for medical malpractice, the next step is to file a lawsuit. Your attorney will prepare and file a complaint, which is a legal document that outlines your claims and the relief you are seeking. The complaint will be served to the healthcare provider, who will have the opportunity to respond.
Throughout the lawsuit, your attorney will negotiate with the other party's attorneys and may attempt to reach a settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will go to trial, where a judge or jury will determine whether medical malpractice occurred and what damages should be awarded.
If you believe that a defective hip replacement has caused an infection or harmed you, you may be eligible to sue the product manufacturer for damages. At Meyers & Flowers, our attorneys have extensive experience handling defective medical products, and have the results to prove it. Contact our team at [email protected] or 630-232-6333 to explore your legal options.