COVID-19 Notice: Malman Law’s staff is working at office & from home so that we can do our part to fight the spread of this virus within our community.

Learn more x
Free Consultations | Tap To Call Today: 1.888.625.6265

Speak to a Lawyer 24hrs a Day

1.888.625.6265

Free Consultation, Call Now!

National Sepsis Awareness Month: What is Sepsis?

Schedule Free Case Review

Monday, September 4, 2017

National Sepsis Awareness Month: What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is a life-threatening bodily response to an infection. Without treatment it leads to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.

Sadly, sepsis kills more than 258,000 people each year, according to Sepsis Alliance. That is why the group started their National Sepsis Awareness Month to bring awareness to the public about this deadly infection, and how it can be treated with prompt medical attention and antibiotics.

What is National Sepsis Awareness Month?

Every two minutes in the United States someone dies of sepsis, which is more than those from breast cancer, AIDS, and prostate cancer combined, according to the Sepsis Alliance.

Each September, the Sepsis Alliance hosts their awareness campaign to show the world about early recognition. When the signs and symptoms are recognized, and treatment administered promptly, sepsis is treatable.

What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is a common, but very serious infection that affects the body. It is also known as blood poisoning, but affects the tissues and organs of the body as well.

Sepsis stems from a variety of infections, most of which come from bacteria that you encounter daily. A life-threatening infection can develop when the immune system reacts negatively to the bacteria and is left untreated.

The General Symptoms of Sepsis

Sepsis comes in three stages: sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock. Early stages are treatable and often non-fatal. However, once you pass into the second and third stages, the illness is much harder to treat – and the third often leads to death.

Sepsis can happen while you are in the hospital recovering from a procedure, at home a few days, or even weeks after treatment. The following symptoms are warning signs you could have sepsis.

  • Fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit or falling temperature that rests below 96.8 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Heart rate at 90 beats per minute or higher
  • Signs of infection
  • High breathing rate – approximately 20 breaths per minute or more

Once sepsis has progressed, you may notice other symptoms which are associated with tissue and organ failure. These symptoms include:

  • Discolored skin patches
  • Decreased urine output
  • Mental abilities changing unexpectedly
  • Breathing problems
  • Low blood cell count
  • Heart function issues
  • Chills
  • Extreme weakness
  • Low blood pressure

The Primary Causes of Sepsis

Even healthy adults can develop sepsis. However, most cases of sepsis come from cases of pneumonia, abdominal infection, bloodstream infection, or postoperative infection. An infection can be picked up while at the hospital, fester, and later turn into sepsis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of cases of sepsis increase every year. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH) states that sepsis causes more deaths in the United States than some forms of cancer.

Sadly, most of these deaths are preventable. Many stem from provider negligence or error – such as a physician or healthcare provider’s failure to recognize the symptoms and treat the infection early enough to prevent death.

Other reasons for the increased numbers of sepsis cases include:

  • The aging population of the United States puts more Americans at risk – because seniors are more likely to develop sepsis after a hospital stay.
  • Increasing numbers of patients who are antibiotic resistant.
  • An increased number of individuals in the United States with illnesses that weaken their immune system.

Other Causes of Sepsis Associated with Negligence

An error by a hospital, healthcare provider, or manufacturer of medical equipment can result in sepsis. Common causes that are directly associated with malpractice or negligence include:

  • Bedsores: Untreated bedsores develop in nursing homes, and on immobile hospital patients. When the patient is left unattended in a fixed position, the skin and tissues deteriorate. When left untreated, the sores eventually turn into wounds – and if the wounds remains open they can acquire an infection that eventually leads to sepsis. Open wounds can also develop – and get infected – if a bedsore gets to the point where bones break through the delicate skin.
  • Intravenous Line Contamination: When an intravenous line is not properly cleaned, sanitized, or is contaminated during manufacturing, it can allow an infection to be introduced directly into the bloodstream.
  • Surgical Site Infections: Anyone that has undergone surgery needs medications, such as antibiotics, to properly prevent an infection. This allows the open wound to heal. When the medication is not taken properly, or the surgical site is not properly cleaned, the wound heals slower and could lead to sepsis.
  • Undiagnosed Infection: Infections are undiagnosed typically in the emergency room where doctors are too busy to order proper tests. If the individual goes to the emergency room with the symptoms of an infection, and the symptoms are not recognized, it could eventually turn into sepsis and lead to septic shock.

The Consequences of Sepsis and Septic Shock

Life Science performed their own research and found that a sepsis condition has devastating consequences; especially in the elderly or those with a compromised immune system. Not only does the victim experience medical consequences, but there emotional tolls as well. Some side effects of sepsis include, but are not limited to:

  • Low Blood Pressure –  Elderly individuals are more likely to suffer from sepsis, and are also at a higher risk of death. When low blood pressure is combined with sepsis, the combination can be fatal.
  • Cognitive Deterioration – Those that suffer from sepsis, especially older adults, can suffer from cognitive degeneration.
  • Organ Failure – Organ failure is likely once severe sepsis sets in. At this point, a person could have permanently damaged kidneys, require an organ transplant, or suffer severe organ failure that can lead to death.
  • Heart Damage – When sepsis progresses, it can permanently damage the tissues of the heart. This may leave a patient with permanent heart complications that make it impossible to maintain their lifestyle or even work. Sometimes, it can dramatically shorten a patient’s lifespan.
  • Surgeries – The patient may have multiple surgeries to remove dead tissue, or possibly an amputation to remove a portion of the body that is badly affected by the infection.

Sepsis and Medical Malpractice Claims

The most common reason that patients file a wrongful death lawsuit or malpractice case against a physician for sepsis is a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. In this case, the physician either failed to properly diagnose the patient with sepsis – or another type of infection that led to sepsis – or they delayed their diagnosis to the point where sepsis developed.

  • Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis. This means that the physician failed to diagnose the sepsis or infection. Also, it can involve misdiagnosing the symptoms of sepsis by mistaking them for another condition.
  • Failure to treat. If a patient has the symptoms of sepsis or another infection, physicians must do their part to treat that infection before it progresses and wreaks havoc within the body.
  • Contamination. Other times, the hospital or health care provider can cause sepsis through contamination. As stated earlier, sepsis is caused by bacterial infections. A person can be infected in a hospital due to inadequate infection control, sanitization, or poor employee training. If this infection develops into sepsis, the patient could hold the hospital or medical provider responsible.

Is It Negligence?

Not all cases of sepsis are caused by negligence. In fact, sepsis can be caused by the patient themself, or even by unexplained circumstances. If, however, a healthcare provider failed to perform his or her duty and sepsis was the result of the failure, that party could be held liable for the injuries that result from the infection.

Damages for Sepsis in a Malpractice Case

If you do have a case of medical malpractice based on sepsis, it is imperative you speak with an attorney. An attorney can review your case and determine if you have sufficient evidence for a malpractice or wrongful death claim.

When successful, your claim may qualify for several types of damages, depending on the extent of your injuries. Some common types of damages include:

  • Medical Costs – The medical costs that you may accumulate as the result of sepsis could be extensive – especially if you have surgeries, extended hospital stays, and multiple treatments. You can seek reimbursement for those you have paid out-of-pocket, but also for any future medical costs associated with your treatments.
  • Lost Wages – You most likely will miss an extensive amount of time from work. In that case, you can seek damages that will compensate you for those lost wages.
  • Loss of Future Earning Capacity – Lost future earning capacity is not the same as lost wages. Lost wages focus on the wages you have already missed while recovering from your illness. However, the loss of future earning capacity focuses on the wages you could earn in the future – had you not suffered the illness. If you are permanently disabled from your infection, these future wages could result in extensive compensation.
  • Pain and Suffering – Sepsis and severe sepsis can be physically agonizing. You may also suffer emotional distress because of your injuries. Therefore, you may seek damages for both your emotional and physical pain and suffering.

Speak with an Injury Attorney

If you suspect that you are a victim of a failure to diagnose or treat that led to sepsis, you could receive compensation for your injuries. Speak with an injury advocate from Malman Law today by calling our offices at 888-625-6265, or request an appointment online.

Related Posts

Why People Choose Malman Law

You’ll want your lawyers to be this good.
You’ll want our experience on your side.
  • Icon

    Credibility & Experience

    25,000+ Cases over 25 Years
  • Icon

    Track Record of Success

    25,000+ Cases over 25 Years
  • Icon

    Team of Litigation Lawyers

    25,000+ Cases over 25 Years
  • img

    They area very helpful and when it come to getting things done with your case I had the pleasureof working with Jason Kellerman he was awesome I highly recommend them.

    - Britany Weaver

  • img

    I’m very pleased to recommend Malman Law to my friends and relatives! I have to mention how efficient and professional in dealing with my case has been with everyone that I’ve been in contact with at Malman Law. Mrs. Sabo is outstanding as well as her secretary and assistant in responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. This firm has gone above and beyond to keep me updated and get answers to my questions at any time, weekends included! Malman Law rules in my opinion!

    - Cheryl Wagemann

  • img

    I’ve been knowing about this Law firm for many years through friends, referrals & advertisements , never I thought I would need their services , because I believed things & situations don’t happen to me like this , long story short I was in situation that I needed help & advice!!! The right direction , I connected with the Firm & a very patient , understanding professional woman by the name of Margie assisted me in what I needed 🙂 Thank you I will refer as I was as referred as well This firm really does care !

    - Elvira G.

  • img

    I was rear-ended by a semi-truck on my way to work. I was transported to the hospital and my car was totaled. In the aftermath, Dan Petrich and Anna Schmidt from Malman Law helped me get set up with physical therapy and negotiated with the insurance companies to make sure the resulting settlement would cover my medical bills and a rental car until I could get a new car. I would highly recommend their services.

    would do everything they could for me.

    - Tony S.

  • img

    I contacted Malman Law go my work injury. So professional from my first phone call. Mr. Malman’s investigator, Dan, came right out to our home. Everything was explained in detail so I know what to expect during this process. I certainly recommend anyone ever in need of a personal injury lawyer to call Malman Law. Truly the best!! Thanks everyone!

    - Devin Jones

  • img

    Attorney Greg Lamorena was my lawyer when I slipped and fell. He kept me updated throughout the case and was always available to talk when I had questions. He is a great lawyer and could not be happier about my settlement!

    - Annie Ong

  • img

    Alexis was the attorney on my case! She kept me in the loop about everything with my case. If I had any concerns I was able to contact her and she’ll answer my questions right away. If your interested in working with Malman Law I would highly recommend Alexis she was GREAT. I would highly recommend Malman Law if you’re ever in need!

    - Eugenia Cathery

  • img

    They are so efficient and professional.Always available to help.Attoney Boyer was great and very good with my case.I really appreciate mailman law firm. I gave them 5 star because there is nothing higher.

    - Omolewa Snyder

  • img

    I have had an amazing experiences with Malman law so far. From the start Dan was super easy to work with, got me the medical attention I needed and fast. Couldn’t ask for better communication. Neil Kilcoyne has been nothing but the best I could not recommend a better attorney. Malman Law is a 10 out of 10 law firm.

    - Trevor Harris

  • img

    Hi I just want to acknowledge Jay McCarron, Kelly & the Firm at Malman Law for representing me as they continue to work on my case. Thanks for keeping me updated & responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. I would Highly recommend you and your firm to friends & family. E. P.

    - Ernest Pitts

  • img

    Alexis was the attorney on my case and she was GREAT. She made sure I was updated on everything about my case. I would highly recommend Malman Law if you’re ever in need.

    - Ariel Fleming

  • img

    I had the best experience with Jason and Jay attorneys from Malman Law they really went all the way to settle my case I’m telling you there just the best!! Recommend 100%!

    - Carmen Rivera

  • img

    Adam Meadow acted as the attorney for a family member who was in a car accident. He was highly personable and actively listened to our issues throughout the litigation process. He was able to get us a settlement for the repairations of the accident. We would recommend their services!

    - Greg Gustafson

  • img

    Excellent customer service and great experience. Malman law handled the whole process and it was very smooth. The settlement was a great success. I would choose malman law again in the future.

    - Malak St.Clair

  • img

    Helped me out of a big jam when my auto was hit twice when and the other drivers had no insurance. Adam Meadow is the only Lawyer I will call for helping me an my daughter.

    - Devri Lott

  • img

    I cannot give enough praise to the team at Malman Law, for helping with my case . My children were involved in a auto collision and the attorney Adam along with his paralegal Michelle worked diligently until the matter was resolved and my entire family was happy. I would definitely recommend Malman Law for anybody going through legal troubles.

    - Adrian Lopez

  • img

    A close friend recommended me to Malman Law. I currently have a case with them due to a car accident I had and ever since the accident they have been taking care of everything for me without me having to worry about anything. They took care of the medical bills & helped me get physical therapy right away. I highly recommend them.

    - Vanessa Leon

  • img

    Bella Feinstein, Jason Kellerman, and Terry Davey, have been instrumental in helping me though many difficult situations. Not only did they work to get my mom a settlement, they have continued to help me through the legal process of relocating my mom to a different state. I’m very grateful for their hard work and good advice.

    - Nyah Vuljanic

  • img

    This law firm is the best they got me paid and meymen law kept in constant communication with me which meant a lot to me I would highly recommend this law firm to anyone who. In the position they are awesome sincerely. Jeff walker

    - Jeff Walker

  • img

    Mr. Kellerman of Malman Law shows compassion for his clients. Returns calls and emails promptly, takes time to listens to his clients and gather facts accordingly.

    - Steve Acosta

  • img

    Everyone at Malman Law made me feel welcomed and heard. My lawyer, Adam Meadow, as well as staff kept me up to date and were more than happy to do so! I would highly recommend their services. Also- a plus is many employees are fluent in Spanish. My experience was easy and worthwhile.

    - Adrianna Gomez

  • img

    Dan Petrich was the best man for my case of falling through my porch of a apartment I rented. He made sure I got what I deserved not only $ wise but medical wise and that my hospital bills and Dr bills were left at a $0 balance before closing my case. I was definitely happy and glad I choose him. Thank you. 5 stars

    - Jose Cruz

  • img

    Steve Malman helped me with my auto case. He quickly responded and answered any and all the questions I had. My case was a success as well as 2 other family members I recommended to him won their cases as well. Definitely a 5 star!

    - Meagan Cruz

  • img
    Malman Law goes above and beyond handling your legal injury case needs. From the first appointment through to the ending verdict my sister and brother in law were very happy with their case results. Highly recommended!

    - Eddie Villarreal

  • img

    I am very impressed with Malman Law and my experience with Tiffany Alberty. She was very professional and knowledgeable. I appreciate the great communication and never felt out of the loop. She was very patient and hard working on my case. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks for the hard work and all your help!

    - Madissen Miller

  • img

    Malman Law is definitely professionals and skilled at what they do. Mr. Adam Meadow always kept me informed and never hesitated to answer my questions and was open to hearing my concerns. Wouldn’t think twice about referring them to family and friends. Thank you to all at Malman Law!

    - Christina Ocon

  • img

    Mailman Law, Excellent firm!! Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie Gallegos were super efficient and knowledgeable. Great communication—very quick response and great follow up! My case was resolved sooner than expected. I highly recommend them!

    - Adriana Martinez

  • img

    So glad I contacted malman law regarding my accident. Professional and caring. Thank you Mr Malman. I most definitely recommend to anyone if you need the best to call Malman Law!!!

    - Virgil Sanner

  • img

    I really appreciated and enjoyed Yennin Calderon’s service. I called asking questions and she was so helpful. Not only did she answer all my questions and concerns. It was also a bonus that she was bilingual in Spanish! Loved the warmth she brought. Thank you!

    - Jazlyn Caraballo

  • img

    My experience with Malman Law was great. I worked with Attorney Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie. Both communicated what was going on with my case, explained next steps and got my case to resolved early. I would highly recommend Malman Law.

    - Ashley Jenkins

View more testimonials
img

What’s your case worth? Submit for a free case review

ALL FIELDS REQUIRED

2 years ago I was involved in a trucking accident involving a 14-wheeler truck that nearly disabled me for life. Steve fought to make sure that I received the most possible compensation for my injuries. I was about to take the insurance company’s lowball offer, but decided to call Steve first – it was the best decision I’ve made yet

NOAH TAFFELPersonal Injury Victim