Sepsis is a condition in which the body responds to an infection but ends up attacking itself. The immune system releases specialized cells that are designed to attach bacteria, viruses, and other invaders to try to prevent sickness. However, the immune system can malfunction and begin attacking the cells in the body instead.
Many conditions can result in sepsis, and it is a major risk for seniors in nursing homes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1.3 million seniors living in nursing homes, and infections are a major problem for nursing homes. Elderly residents may be more likely to develop infections, and this can increase sepsis cases. Fortunately, nursing homes can help prevent and treat these cases with proper care and vigilance. When they fail to intervene when sepsis develops, they can be held accountable for the damage that it causes.
If your loved one is injured by sepsis in the care of a nursing home, then consult a Los Angeles sepsis lawyer for guidance on how to take legal action. Contact the office of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to speak to our legal team about your case.
Signs of Sepsis
When sepsis develops, it can be difficult to spot without extensive medical training. The signs of sepsis may not be seen without specific medical tests. However, you can identify sepsis if you know what signs to look for. The signs of sepsis include:
- Increased breathing rate: A breathing rate that increases to more than 22 breaths per minute indicates physical distress somewhere inside the body, according to Mayo Clinic. The body is rushing to fight an infection and trying to provide as much energy as possible to the immune system. This can lead to further breathing problems as it can wear out the lungs and make it hard to breathe.
- Fast heart rate: A fast heart rate stresses the heart and its valves, which can lead to other heart-related issues.
- Fever or shivers: Sepsis can cause significant changes in body temperature. When this happens, the patient can develop either shivers or severe fever. Untreated, both options can lead to extreme muscle fatigue and dehydration.
- Clammy skin: Sepsis makes people sweat and develop clammy skin.
- Pain: Sepsis can be painful because it can damage the body, including the muscles.
- Confusion: Sepsis can also affect brain function. It most commonly causes confusion but can lead to other mental impacts if left untreated for extended periods.
- Muscle weakness: Sepsis usually damages muscles and can lead to significant muscle weakness.
- Skin discoloration: Blotches of discolored skin can appear as sepsis develops, which can be one of the easiest signs to see without testing.
There are other signs of sepsis that this list does not cover. If these signs are ignored as your loved one develops sepsis, that could be a sign that the facility is being negligent. There are other factors that go into that determination, which you can discuss with a legal representative.
Developing sepsis leads to serious medical problems. As the immune system attacks the body, it damages organs and different systems in the body. This is why sepsis is such a dangerous condition to develop. While it may be possible to limit or reverse the damage done by sepsis, it is entirely possible that the damage can be fatal.
According to the National Academy of Sciences, seniors in long-term care are at a high risk of abuse and neglect. If seniors are neglected when sepsis sets in, it could be fatal. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect is a common problem. Most of the nursing home facilities across the country are understaffed, and the staff that they do have is stretched thin.
If left unresolved, more seniors can face injuries from sepsis without proper care, including physical pain and mental distress. Your loved one may face large medical bills for treatment and recovery. Your family should not have to struggle due to the negligence of a nursing home or someone employed by the nursing home.
For a free legal consultation with a Sepsis Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Stages of Sepsis
Sepsis develops in three stages: sepsis, severe sepsis, and sepsis shock. Sepsis is the earliest stage and is triggered by an infection. If it progresses without treatment, it becomes severe sepsis.
Severe sepsis begins at the point where organs begin to lose their functionality. In many cases, blood pressure drops substantially, and blood vessels can begin to leak out of the bloodstream. Septic shock is the most severe stage, and it can have a 40% mortality rate, according to Mayo Clinic.
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Your Legal Rights
If sepsis injures your loved one while in the care of a nursing home, the facility’s staff might be negligent in its duties. If this is the case, then you may be able to file a lawsuit to claim compensation. This will help you cover the costs of additional care for your loved one.
A Los Angeles sepsis lawyer can help you navigate the process of filing a lawsuit and ensure you do so by the state’s statute of limitations deadline, which is two years, according to CIV § 335.1. For you to win the case, it is essential to prove there was negligence on the part of the facility. This is possible with the evidence that lawyers are able to find.
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If your loved one is suffering from injuries as a result of sepsis while in a nursing home, you may be able to file a lawsuit to seek compensation. To explore your legal options, consult a Los Angeles sepsis lawyer for legal assistance. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your case with our staff.