Patients entering a hospital for treatment rarely expect to develop additional medical complications resulting from their hospital stay. However, for individuals who develop sepsis while in the hospital, this is exactly what has happened.
In some cases, the body will produce an inflammatory response when trying to fight an infection. The inflammatory response, which can cause damage to organs or organ failure, is known as sepsis. Hospital patients who develop sepsis may exhibit symptoms including fever, elevated heart and breathing rates, decreased urine output, abdominal pain, extreme drops in blood pressure and sudden changes in mental status.
Hospital patients most at risk for developing sepsis include:
- Individuals who enter a hospital with an existing infection (such as a kidney infection)
- Elderly patients
- Very young patients
- Individuals with weakened or compromised immune systems
- Patients with wounds
- Patients who have invasive medical devices such as urinary catheters, ventilators or intravenous lines
If sepsis is diagnosed and treated at its earliest stages, there may be minimal effects on a patient. Untreated sepsis can result in life threatening injuries such as “septic shock” and organ failure which can necessitate extensive and expensive medical treatments. Approximately 50 percent of patients diagnosed with septic shock will eventually die of sepsis.
Factors That May Contribute to Sepsis
Hospital acquired infections are one of the most common causes of sepsis. These infections may include pneumonia, urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections, gastrointestinal infections and surgical site infections after an in-patient procedure.
Medical malpractice is often a contributing factor in the development of sepsis through a hospital acquired infection. Some of the types of medical malpractice claims that may brought in cases where a hospital acquired infection resulted in sepsis include improper hand washing, surgical errors involving improper insertion of invasive medical devices, improper post-operative care and improperly sanitized medical equipment can directly lead to the development of sepsis. Failure to diagnose sepsis at its earliest stages is another way in which medical negligence can cause serious harm to a patient.
If you have developed sepsis after a hospital stay or as a result of a hospital acquired infection, you may be entitled to compensation if medical malpractice was a contributing factor. Hospitals and medical facilities must adhere to a strict standard of care when treating patients. If this standard of care has not been met, resulting in injury to the patient, the physician or the medical facility may be liable for medical malpractice. Contacting an experienced medical malpractice lawyer is your first step in determining your legal rights.
South Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. Represent Individuals in Sepsis Claims
If you or your loved one is suffering from sepsis caused by medical malpractice, compensation for your injuries may be available. To schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced South Jersey medical malpractice lawyer, call Folkman Law Offices, P.C. today at 856-354-9444 or submit an online inquiry form.With offices conveniently located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey as well as Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve injured individuals and their families throughout the Philadelphia and South Jersey areas, including those in Burlington County and Camden County.