Many people worry about infections of the blood that can happen after surgery and while they are recovering.
The medical term for this problem is septicemia or sepsis, and it is a case in which a severe infection is spread through the bloodstream. Patients suffering from sepsis are in a state of low blood pressure called “septic shock.”
Blood Infection after Surgery
Since there are many different types of blood infections, it is important to known what type of septicemia affects a person. If one has been operated on, it is best for him/her to be able to identify if his/her blood has been infected right after the surgery.
If the reason is discovered right away, the surgeon will be able to prescribe proper medications and antibiotics to prevent further complications and spread of the bacteria.
Sepsis can be caused by many different microbes, but it is usually caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi, especially after surgery. Additionally, infections in any part of the body such as the lungs, different body tissues, bladder or kidneys, can also be blamed for blood infections.
Young people are usually at higher risk to suffer from blood infections, along with elderly people, because they tend to have weaker immune systems and have problems fighting off microbes. Furthermore, people who have cancer, AIDS or diabetes are also prone to sepsis because their immune systems are not strong enough. Also, when a person has cancer and is undergoing treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, this too will affect the ability of his/her body to fight off infections.
Finally, people who are taking steroids are more likely to have blood infections.
As soon as symptoms of blood infection are noticed, the doctor needs to be notified. After notification, a number of tests are run, including blood, urine, spinal fluid, CT scans and chest x-rays.
In most cases patients will be administered antibiotics but it is important to identify the underlying cause of sepsis so that the doctor can prescribe the right medication for the individual case.
Symptoms of Blood Infection after Surgery
A fever is one of the main symptoms of blood infection. The heartbeat will also increase and breathing will be much faster as well. People with blood infections tend to have low blood pressure and possibly suffer from confusion, disorientation, agitation, dizziness and decreased urination.
Skin rashes can appear due to sepsis too. Moreover, the incisions that were made during the surgery are likely to feel hot and, in some cases, pus may ooze from them.
How Does Hematoma Occur?
A hematoma represents extravasation of blood outside blood vessels. This accumulation of blood is generally caused by hemorrhage. A hematoma may develop as one of potential complications of many surgeries. In this case the very collection of blood accumulates at the operative site.
Hematoma after surgery develops several hours after a surgical procedure. It is a consequence of damage to the nearby blood vessels and it may be also related to poor aftercare. Hematoma is a common side effect of certain surgeries such as episiotomy, c-section surgery, cholecystectomy, abdominoplasty, breast augmentation, facelift surgery and it may also occur after some dental procedures.
The affected area is painful and one may report a feeling of fullness while the skin changes its normal color and becomes blue or purple. In mild cases the bleeding stops spontaneously while in more severe ones a hematoma may become significantly large and compress the nearby tissues, triggering a lack of oxygen. The skin parts deprived of oxygen may eventually die. Furthermore, large hematomas also carry a risk of infection.
In the majority of cases the formation of hematoma after surgery is accidental. Before they close the wound, the surgeons pay special attention to all the blood vessels and they make sure that there is no bleeding. Bleeding is successfully stopped with cauterization (a method which uses an electric current to form a blood clot). There is possibility that a blood clot falls off which leads to bleeding and subsequent formation of hematoma at the operative site.
One more cause of hematoma after surgery is intake of certain medications, to be more precise intake of anticoagulant medications such as Aspirin and heparin. These medications must be abstained from at least 2-3 weeks prior to the surgery since they increase the risk for hematoma after surgery.
And finally, increased blood pressure as well as bleeding disorders increase chances of hematoma after surgery. Blood pressure can elevate due to exercise, straining, vomiting etc. This is why all the activities which may increase blood pressure are strictly forbidden after surgery.
Finally, both blood infections and hematomas may affect a patient after surgery. Such occurrences take place accidentally, in most cases. Nevertheless, unless treated timely, hematomas as well as blood infections can get worse.
Thus, in case you experience symptoms of any of the two conditions, seek medical assistance as soon as possible.