If you or a loved one has contracted the serious condition referred to as sepsis in a medical care setting, you may be wondering if you have a case for medical malpractice. In order to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit involving sepsis, you will probably need the help of a skilled attorney.
First things first: what is sepsis?
The condition of sepsis involves the existence of harmful bacteria and their toxins in the blood or tissue. It is a serious complication that can result from various types of infections and often develops from an infected wound. Sepsis forms when a person’s immune system disperses chemicals into the bloodstream to fight the infection, but instead they produce inflammation throughout the body. The inflammatory response of the body can put debilitating stress on the person’s organs, causing them to fail. As sepsis worsens, it can develop into severe sepsis or even septic shock.
As a life-threatening condition, sepsis can also lead to a dangerous drop in blood pressure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 1.5 million people contract sepsis each year in the U.S. The condition also takes the lives of 250,000 Americans each year.
Various types of infections can eventually lead to sepsis. The most common types include:
- Bloodstream or bacteremia infection
- Abdominal infection
- Urinary tract infection
- Kidney infection
Can medical negligence lead to sepsis?
Many patients enter hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities and care centers with pre-existing infections. However, some of these infections can lead to sepsis if they are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. As well, patients can develop hospital acquired infections (HAIs), which are a common type of infection leading to sepsis.
Negligence by the medical/healthcare organization or individual care worker can lead to a patient contracting an HAI. Some examples of negligence leading to this outcome can include:
- Improper sterilization of medical devices and equipment
- Inadequate filtration of the medical facility’s cooling and heating systems
- Poor overall sanitation practices
- Poor care of bedsores and surgical wounds that lead to improper healing
- The use of defective medical products
Oftentimes, sepsis is not diagnosed early enough. Medical professionals may be negligent if they do not properly examine and diagnose a patient exhibiting symptoms of sepsis. Hospital acquired infections that develop into sepsis that are often found to be avoidable or preventable.
How do you establish medical malpractice?
An experienced medical malpractice attorney, through the use of medical experts, can establish if avoidable errors were made during the treatment of you or your loved one in a medical facility. If the outcome for you or your loved one was the development of sepsis, severe sepsis, or septic shock, you may be eligible to receive substantial compensation for the harm and injuries you have incurred. This is also true if your loved one died as a result of sepsis. Partner Chad McGowan has successfully litigated sepsis cases, including one to verdict in Aiken, South Carolina for $13.75 million.
The medical malpractice lawyers at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC have extensive experience advocating on behalf of injured patients and their families. If you or a loved one has suffered injury due to a misdiagnosis of sepsis, or failure to treat the condition effectively, we can help. Chad McGowan and Johnny Felder obtained a $13.75 million medical malpractice verdict on behalf of one of our South Carolina clients against Aiken Regional Medical Centers for the failure of doctors to treat a severe condition of sepsis in a prompt manner – a failure that led to her losing three limbs. We’re here to aggressively fight for justice on your behalf as well. To set up a free consultation about your case, call us today at 803-327-7800, or send us a message through our contact form.
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- What is Sepsis?
- Medical Malpractice Claims for Sepsis-Related Kidney Injuries
- Sepsis Can Be Caused By Medical Malpractice
Randy is the former President of the South Carolina Association for Justice. He has been certified by the American Board of Professional Liability as a specialist in Medical Malpractice Law which is recognized by the South Carolina Bar. Randy has also been awarded the distinction of being a “Super Lawyer” 10 times in the last decade. He has over 25 years of experience helping injured people fight back against corporations, hospitals and wrong-doers.
Read more about S. Randall Hood