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Nursing Home Sepsis Lawyer
Sepsis infections from a bedsore or a urinary tract infection is a rapidly progressing condition known to cause organ failure and eventual death.
Sepsis can occur when bacteria from an infection enters the bloodstream through a wound and spreads to other areas of the body.
When not properly managed right away by nursing homes, the condition can bring about septic shock, where nearly 50 percent of all victims die.
Nursing Home Infections Are a Common Cause of Death
Sepsis often starts with instant chills, spiking fever, rapid heart rate and quick repeated breathing.
Septic shock can set during hypothermia (decreasing body temperature), lowering blood pressure or clotting, where confusion or significant change in mental acuity occurs.
An individual suffering from sepsis often has red spots developing on the skin (hemorrhagic rash) that appear as clusters of tiny dots of blood.
You Can Sue for Nursing Home Negligence if Your Loved One Develops Sepsis
If your loved one developed sepsis during an admission to a nursing home, contact the attorneys at the Nursing Home Law Center today for a free review of your legal rights and options.
The attorneys at the Nursing Home Law Center helps families whose loved ones have been injured in the care of a nursing home.
Our affiliated law firm files lawsuits on behalf of injured nursing home residents.
Call us today for a free consultation if your loved one suffered an injury from a negligence nursing home.
Nursing Home Sepsis Statistics
- Nursing home residents are seven times more likely to develop sepsis than seniors outside a nursing home.
- Fatality rates for sepsis in nursing homes can average 37%
- Nursing home patients will need ICU admission in 40% of cases.
- 25,000 nursing home residents die from sepsis each year.
Common Symptoms of Sepsis
When left untreated, sepsis infection can overwhelm the patient. Typical symptoms include:
- The loss of interest in eating food
- Lack of awareness of surroundings
- Feet and hands that are cool or cold to the touch
- Lethargy, anxiousness or agitation
- Feverish body
- Coma or death
Sepsis infection is a medical emergency requiring immediate medical care. In most incidences, quick treatment involves antibiotic medications.
Where sepsis is so dangerous is that most nursing home patients already have compromised immune systems.
Nursing Homes Are Breeding Grounds for Severe Infections
Bedsores develop in individuals with mobility impairment or mental challenges that have difficulty repositioning the body when in bed, in a chair or wheelchair.
When any type of external pressure compresses against the skin, it can restrict blood flow to the area.
Depleted oxygen to the area can cause skin tissue to die. The necrotic tissue that forms a bedsore is often pink or red in color and warm to the touch. Tissue can begin to die in as little as two hours if the pressure is not relieved from the area.
Other Causes of Nursing Home Sepsis
Sepsis is when any severe infection overwhelms the immune system and triggers a chain reaction. Here are some other causes of sepsis in nursing homes:
- Urinary tract infections
- Bed sores or pressure sores
- Bloodstream infections
- Kidney and bladder infections
- Digestive system infections
The Stages of Sepsis
Common bedsores appear at stage I, where the skin remains unbroken. By stage II, the top layers of skin have died, creating a crater and/or eschar (hanging skin) in the damaged area.
When left unattended, or mismanaged, a stage I and stage II bedsore can quickly advance to stage III and stage IV, causing serious life-threatening conditions.
Serious consequences and potential death are two dangers in allowing a pressure sore (bedsore; pressure ulcer; decubitus ulcer) to advance to stage III or stage IV.
Sepsis from a pressure ulcer can often turn into a massive infection that is difficult, if not impossible, to control. When bacteria are allowed to enter the bloodstream, the toxins can easily spread rapidly throughout the body and produce sepsis.
Nursing Homes Duty to Prevent Sepsis Infection
The most beneficial way of treating a bedsore is to prevent it from happening. In fact, pressure sores are avoidable unless the patient has specific medical conditions that eliminate the possibility of mobility.
Preventing sepsis from a bedsore requires meticulous attention by every caregiver in the facility treating the patient including doctors, nurses, nurse’s aides, health professionals and family members providing care.
Close inspection of those chair-bound and bedridden is required every day. This is because daily inspections can quickly identify any early signs of discoloration or redness on the skin.
Bedsores tend to occur on areas of the body that are bony with little or no fat, like ankles, heels, knees, buttocks, tailbone, hip bones, sacrum, elbows, shoulder blades, shoulders and the back of the head.
Any discoloration or redness is an indicator that the individual requires repositioning so blood flow can be restored to normal.
Treatment of Sepsis
Antibiotics are the usual course of care for residents. If the case is severe enough, the antibiotics are administered directly into the veins.
Since nursing home residents may be at high risk, treatment needs to begin immediately. However, some nursing homes may delay the treatment of the elderly due to negligence.
How Nursing Home Negligence Leads to Sepsis
Your nursing home sepsis lawyer may help establish that your family member's particular case of infection may have been the fault of the nursing home. Here are some ways how:
- Staff did not properly move residents to prevent pressure ulcers.
- Pressure ulcer wounds were not properly dressed and changed.
- More routine infections were not treated with the necessary antibiotics to prevent them from getting worse.
- Lack of proper toileting and changing can bring about infections.
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer When Your Loved One Develops Sepsis
If an infection, sepsis or bedsore is not properly diagnosed and treated, septic shock can occur, it can cause damage to internal organs or lead to brain damage, amputations, encephalopathy (brain dysfunction) and even death.
These medical conditions can be the first indicator of neglect in the facility. Poor care in a medical facility must be reported to ensure the safety of the loved one.
If a loved one residing in a hospital, assisted living facility, group home, nursing home or care center shows signs of neglect, abuse or bedsores, it is essential to take action.
First, alert the attending physician, medical staff and director of the facility immediately. Be persistent, especially if the alerted individuals are slow to respond.
Taking action is essential to minimize the potential of a loved one developing bedsores.
Your Attorney for an Injured Nursing Home Resident
The attorneys at the Nursing Home Law Center LLC at (800) 926-7565 are experienced in medical malpractice, neglect and abuse of the elderly and infirmed.
Our nursing home abuse attorneys are skilled in handling “failure to treat infection” cases against a negligent nursing home or assisted living facility.
A personal injury lawyer may be able to help by taking immediate legal action to stop the abuse of a loved one being mistreated in a nursing home or medical facility.
Our sepsis lawyers can help you. Contact our law firm today to begin our attorney client relationship with a free case evaluation.