Aggressive Attorneys Fighting for Clients Who Have Amputation Injuries Due to Sepsis
Experienced counsel for patients who sustained catastrophic injuries related to sepsis and Levophed
Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening infection. If Sepsis is misdiagnosed, or left untreated, a patient could easily go into septic shock, and suffer catastrophic injuries. Vasopressors like Levophed are often used on patients with sepsis, but if a person is overdosed on this drug, his or her limbs can become oxygen depleted, causing amputations of multiple extremities (arms, legs, fingers, toes). Chad McGowan and McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC handles these complex medical malpractice cases on behalf of victims in different States in the Unites States.
Our attorneys are aggressive in pursuit of justice and compensation for amputation victims and their families. Partner Chad McGowan recently obtained a $13.75 million jury verdict against Aiken Regional Medical Center on behalf of a client whose untreated sepsis led to a triple amputation.
What is Levophed?
Levophed (norepinephrine bitartrate) is a type of drug called a vasopressor, or vasoconstrictor. It works by constricting your blood vessels, decreasing the flow of blood. Levophed, and drugs like it, are usually prescribed for patients who have life-threatening hypotension (low blood pressure). If Levophed is overprescribed or not monitored appropriately (by nurses or physicians), it can cause amputations to a patient.
What is sepsis?
Let’s start here: Sepsis and septicemia are two side of the same coin. Septicemia is a bloodstream infection; sepsis is the body’s inflammatory reaction to that infection. This distinction is important, because sepsis is potentially deadly, and is a more common bodily reaction than you might know, you can read more on “What is Sepsis“here.
Sepsis progresses in three stages, per the Mayo Clinic.
- Sepsis – patients run a fever, and have increased respiratory and heart rates (tachycardia).
- Severe sepsis – patients may experience difficulties breathing, abdominal pain, abnormal heart rates (arrhythmia), decreased platelet counts and urine output, and mental impairment. These symptoms point to organ failure.
- Septic shock – patients exhibit the signs of severe sepsis, plus a dangerous drop in blood pressure. The mortality rate is 40-70%.
The dangers of using Levophed to treat septic patients
When a patient goes into septic shock, his or her organs are failing. Medical intervention must be immediate. For years, doctors used dopamine to treat the low blood pressure; recently, more and more doctors have been using Levophed.
If a patient receives too much Levophed, or if the medication is used for too long, he or she is at risk of the following conditions, per RxList:
- Ischemic injury (restricted blood supply)
- Tissue hypoxia (oxygen deprivation in body tissue)
- Slow or arrhythmic heart rates
- Respiratory distress
- Necrosis (tissue death)
In short, Levophed and vasoconstrictors come with the very real risk of reducing the amount of blood and oxygen your tissues get. If these drugs are used for too long, the tissues will die. It is the extremities that are the least likely to get the oxygen-rich blood they need – fingers, hands, toes and feet. The tissue in these body parts will die. As a result, patients with sepsis who are given Levophed could end up needing part of, or all of, their arms and legs amputated.
Making a claim for medical malpractice if Levophed caused your injuries
If you developed sepsis or went into septic shock, and the doctors used Levophed to raise your blood pressure, understand that this is standard practice. If, however, you sustained life-altering injuries as a result of the doctors’ failure to diagnose or treat sepsis, or because of a medication error involving Levophed, you may be entitled to compensation.
We know that undiagnosed sepsis and untreated sepsis can be an act of negligence. We know that excessive and unmonitored use of vasopressors like Levophed can cause your tissues to die, and lead to multiple amputations.
Contact Chad McGowan if you sustained amputation injuries due to sepsis
McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC’s attorneys have been practicing for decades in the field of medical malpractice Though we are based in South Carolina, we have been able to help injury victims across the county in various legal matters. If you are a sepsis amputation victim, we want to help. Please call 888-302-7546 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free initial consultation with firm partner Chad McGowan.