In nursing home abuse cases, sepsis often develops. Sepsis is a condition that results from an infection—a type of chain reaction that is triggered in the stomach, kidneys, lungs, or bladder. While bacterial infections often lead to sepsis, other infections also can manifest into the illness.
For example, blood poisoning or pneumonia, or similar illnesses can develop into a severe immune response. Whenever you experience any type of infection, the immune system springs into action, releasing substances and proteins to combat the illness. When sepsis develops, it means the response is out of control, which triggers inflammation.
Besides bacterial infections, sepsis can develop, more specifically, from fungal infections, COVID-19, and the flu. Sepsis may cause the patient to have trouble breathing. In some cases, they may develop an increased heart rate or fever.
In any of these instances, doctors must act fast to treat the illness, or prevent septic shock, a medical condition related to organ failure, reduced blood pressure, and widespread tissue damage.
To understand how sepsis develops, it helps to look at the three stages of progression. Inflammation from an infection is what causes the chain reaction. If a patient is not properly treated and an infection develops, you’ll need to review the circumstances with a knowledgeable nursing home abuse attorney.
During the first stage of sepsis, an infection enters the bloodstream and causes extensive inflammation. The patient experiences fever and suffers from chills.
During stage two, also called severe sepsis, the inflammation begins affecting the organs and their functioning.
The third stage of sepsis is the aforementioned septic shock phase, a severe complication that, again, reduces blood pressure and affects respiration. During this stage, heart failure or a stroke may occur, or the patient may end up dying.
Unfortunately, nursing home neglect often leads to sepsis, especially when certain protocols against infection aren’t met. For example, patient rooms should be cleaned properly, and staff members should isolate residents who show signs of illness.
Healthcare providers should wear gowns, gloves, and masks when following the protocol for isolation. They should also wash their hands before treating each patient.
Healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) may also result when patients are transferred from hospital settings into the nursing home. Also, if bedsores are not properly treated, the patient may experience sepsis.
The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) states that, even with innovations in sepsis treatments, sepsis happens regularly among older adults transferred from a hospital to a long-term care facility.
Healthcare workers who note sepsis symptoms, such as chills or fever, difficult respiration, pain, or sweaty skin, may mistake these ailments for another illness, such as cancer or pneumonia. This can easily happen in nursing homes that are understaffed.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) website adds that, under global human rights legislation, everyone, including people living in nursing homes, has the right to a high level of care. This care includes protection from mistreatment, neglect, and abuse.
If your loved one has sepsis, and you believe it’s from neglect, you need to speak to an injury lawyer without delay. Gaining justice and compensation for this type of negligence is something that you need to review with a competent legal advisor. Don’t handle this type of matter yourself. Rely on a Chicago home abuse attorney to guide you in your case.
Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.
Years of experience: +30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2023
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