Sepsis is a dangerous medical condition that is triggered by an infection. When an infection overwhelms the immune system, it can cause a cascading effect that can have severe consequences. Without immediate treatment, sepsis can quickly become fatal.
Sepsis is unfortunately common, particularly among older adults. Elderly people face higher risks if they have certain underlying medical conditions, including diabetes or liver disease. According to the National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS), more than 1.7 million Americans develop this condition annually. Roughly 27,000 people die from sepsis each year.
In some cases, the staff of a nursing home will fail to diagnose sepsis in time. In other cases, they can trigger the condition by causing an infection. If negligence has resulted in your loved one’s sepsis diagnosis, a Louisiana sepsis lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help. Dial (800) 842-6336 to speak with our team immediately.
Risk of Sepsis Among Nursing Home Residents
Nursing homes are, unfortunately, prime locations for sepsis—particularly in cases where negligence goes unchecked. The residents of nursing homes are at increased risk due to their age, and many have underlying health issues that can increase those risks.
In addition to diabetes or lung disease, other conditions that reflect an increased risk of sepsis include any chronic illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also report that weakened immune systems among seniors is another significant risk factor.
A thorough understanding of the risk factors associated with sepsis within nursing homes could help prevent the onset of this condition (or aid caretakers in identifying early warning signs). The primary risks of sepsis include:
One of the simplest ways to avoid sepsis is to prevent the spread of infection. This is virtually impossible in nursing homes with poor hygienic practices. Nursing home residents with open wounds—including bedsores—are more likely to become infected in an unhygienic environment.
It is the duty of a nursing home to identify and treat the medical conditions your loved one faces. Many caretakers fail in this duty. If negligence leads to nursing home staff failing to identify or treat an infection, they could be liable for any damage that occurs once sepsis sets in.
It is improper to treat patients suffering from recurring infections with a steady stream of antibiotics. This not only prevents medical professionals from identifying the root cause of the infection, but it can also mask the warning signs of sepsis.
Your loved one deserves the best care available. When their nursing home fails to provide the level of care expected of them, the facility could face civil liability for your loved one’s medical injuries.
Let Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Louisiana sepsis lawyers guide you through this difficult time. Contact us right away for a free consultation.
We Can Help You Build a Negligence Claim
It is not enough to prove that your loved one developed sepsis while in the care of a nursing home. In many cases, medical professionals can do everything right, only for sepsis to occur anyway. To prevail in a legal claim, your loved one must establish that the facility’s negligence was responsible for their sepsis diagnosis.
Every negligence claim must demonstrate four parts. Those four parts include the duty of care, the breach of duty, the causation, and the damages. Your loved one must first prove that the nursing home owed them a duty to ensure their wellbeing. This is rarely an issue, as the entire purpose of a nursing home is to ensure their residents’ care. Next, your loved one must establish that the nursing home breached this duty. This is often a central point of any negligence case.
A breach could come in the form of understaffing, poor training, or careless medical care. Finally, your loved one must also show that they suffered injuries from contracting sepsis—and tie those injuries to the nursing home’s breached duty of care.
Evidence in a Sepsis Claim That Could Prove Your Loved One’s Losses
Building a winning negligence claim requires evidence. Typically, your lawyer will begin with your loved one’s medical records. These records not only will show your family member’s condition before sepsis set in, but also how it impacted their body. A medical history could also establish that they were at higher risk for sepsis—something that the nursing home should have prepared for.
It is not uncommon to rely on the testimony of expert witnesses regarding medical records. Doctors (or other expert witnesses) could testify on a number of important aspects in a sepsis case. For starters, they can outline just how severe your loved one’s condition was. Additionally, they can review their medical records to highlight if the nursing staff at the facility failed to meet the basic standards of care.
Your lawyer might also rely on nursing home employment records. These records could establish that the administrators were negligent in hiring unqualified staff or that the facility was understaffed at the time the infection set in.
Witnesses also can play an important role in these cases. If your family’s lawyer can identify witnesses who noticed the signs of an infection prior to any treatment efforts, it could go a long way towards proving that the nursing home failed to act quickly enough.
Your Loved One Could Pursue a Monetary Award with a Louisiana Sepsis Lawyer
No nursing home resident deserves to face the painful, terrifying prospect of sepsis. Many residents that face this condition never recover. When the negligence of a nursing home administrator or staff member is responsible for this condition, it is only fair to hold them accountable under the law.
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can pursue a claim against a negligent nursing home on your loved one’s behalf. To learn more about your family’s legal options, call (800) 842-6336.