Sepsis (sometimes called “blood poisoning”) is an adverse reaction to an infection in the body. While the body is fighting this infection, it releases chemicals into the bloodstream that ward off germs. However, when someone has sepsis, these infection-fighting chemicals work overtime, causing widespread inflammation and organ damage. If not promptly treated, a person with sepsis could die within a matter of days.
The elderly face a heightened risk of developing sepsis because of their weakened immune systems. Aging Health notes that, unfortunately, sepsis is quite prevalent in nursing home facilities for a variety of reasons and points to neglect on the part of the facility’s staff.
If an elderly loved one suffered from sepsis that led to serious medical complications or death, contact a Riverside sepsis lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. You have the right to hold the responsible nursing home accountable for your loved one’s pain. To start your free case review, get started today by calling.
Sepsis and Nursing Homes
Nursing homes must maintain a standard of care when accepting elderly residents into their facility. The Western Journal of Emergency Medicine defines the standard of care as acting in the best interest of a patient at the same level that another professional reasonably would. Sepsis results when an infection did not receive proper treatment and therefore developed into a serious condition. This alone is grounds for establishing negligence in a nursing home. These care facilities have an obligation to monitor their residents’ health conditions and take measures to prevent such ailments from worsening.
When moving forward with legal action, your lawyer will need to establish that the care facility knew (or reasonably should have known) about your loved one’s condition and failed to take necessary precautions to prevent the development of sepsis.
Your Lawyer Must Prove Negligence
The crux of your case rests on establishing that the nursing home acted against the best interests of your loved one by providing substandard care. Your legal team will need to prove that four elements played a role in your situation.
- Duty of care. Nursing home staff took on an obligation to provide adequate care for your loved one during their stay at the facility.
- Breach of duty of care. By allowing your loved one to develop sepsis, we can make the connection that the nursing home was not effectively monitoring your loved one’s health.
- Causation. Because of the facility’s inability to recognize symptoms of infection and take precautionary measures to prevent it from getting worse, your loved one developed sepsis.
- Damages. This factor largely rests on what followed after your loved one’s diagnosis. If they passed away, you may be able to establish damages relating to end-of-life costs and funeral expenses. If they survived, you may be able to pursue losses for medical bills, pain and suffering, and the cost of relocating to another facility.
Your legal team will need to collect evidence that supports that the nursing home violated their duty of care and subsequently caused your loved one’s condition. To learn more about what this evidence may entail, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.
Some Conditions Place Residents at Risk of Sepsis
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that in many cases, sepsis is completely preventable if infections receive early treatment. The elderly are especially susceptible to this disease because of certain factors relating to their health.
- Pressure ulcers. Also called bedsores, these wounds usually form on the bony parts of the body, including the hips, elbows, and ankles. If not properly cleaned and dressed, these sores are doors for infection, which can ultimately lead to sepsis.
- Intravenous medication. Any resident who is receiving medication through an IV is at an increased risk of infection because of the open injection site. Nursing home staff must take special precautions to ensure that when needles are withdrawn or administered, the surrounding area receives proper sanitation.
- Patients without a spleen. According to Clinical Microbiology and Infection, those who have had a splenectomy are at an elevated risk of developing sepsis, since they are especially vulnerable to bacteria. Nursing home staff should be aware of preexisting health conditions that increase a patient’s risk of developing certain diseases and are responsible for taking measures to promote their health.
The development of sepsis can result in life-long medical complications and issues that may persist for years. The Journal of the American Medical Association notes that sepsis can result in lifelong cognitive impairments, which can deeply impact one’s ability to communicate and live independently. Even if your loved one survived sepsis, they may have disabilities that hinder their quality of life. They deserve the justice that a Riverside sepsis lawyer can provide. To start advocating for your loved one’s rights, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.
For a free legal consultation with a Sepsis Lawyer serving Riverside, call (800) 794-0444
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences notes that sepsis is one of the leading causes of death for those facing extended hospital stays. If your elderly loved one developed sepsis and died due to this medical condition, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.
You may be able to recover:
- Medical bills
- Lost financial benefits, such as social security or retirement funds
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral expenses
- Additional end of life costs
Depending on when your loved one passed away will determine how much time you have to act. In Illinois, you are granted anywhere from one to two years, contingent on certain details of your situation. Moving forward with legal proceedings takes time and effort. Speaking with a Riverside sepsis lawyer regarding financial recovery can promote a resolution that falls before these state-imposed guidelines.
Riverside Sepsis Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
Almost all instances of sepsis are treatable if the original infection receives proper medical attention. If your elderly loved one suffered from sepsis, you may have the right to file a lawsuit on their behalf. To start your free case review with a dedicated member of our legal team, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.