If your loved one suffered from sepsis and you suspect it was preventable or did not get treated early enough, you could take legal action against the responsible party. Sepsis is a severe, widespread infection in the body that can threaten various tissue, organs, and the overall health of a person. While sepsis is treatable, severe forms of sepsis can be fatal. Catching a spreading infection in time is essential for recovery. Certain demographics, like the elderly, are more at risk for sepsis than others for reasons such as exposure to bacteria, a weakened immune system, or dependence on caregivers.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is available to discuss your case during a free consultation. Call us to speak with a New York City sepsis lawyer team member and learn more about your family’s legal options.
Bacterial infections are not uncommon. Sometimes the body can fight an infection naturally, and in other cases a medical professional may prescribe antibiotics to boost immunity, but not every infection goes away easily. Sepsis occurs when an infection is not contained and spreads to various regions in the body. In severe cases, sepsis can lead to permanent tissue damage, organ failure, and even death.
Sepsis is a particularly damaging disease in developing regions, largely due to limited health care systems and a lack of sanitation infrastructure. The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 6 million people die from sepsis annually. However, sepsis is not only a problem in developing countries. It can happen to any person in any location around the world.
Causes of Infection
All forms of sepsis start with an infection, which is acquired by exposure to bacteria. Throughout the course of the day, every person is exposed to germs, but your immune system generally fights this exposure and prevents germs from spreading in a dangerous manner. Failure of an immune system to respond appropriately, or exposure to a particularly dangerous form of bacteria, can lead to an infection. Some common factors that trigger an infection include:
- Age: Very young or old individuals could have undeveloped or compromised immune systems, leading to a higher risk of infection.
- Exposure: Individuals who are in many different environments, living in a community setting like a nursing home, or regularly touch several surfaces increase their risk of exposure to dangerous bacteria.
- Pre-existing conditions: People with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, immune systems disorders, lung disease, kidney problems, or other ailments are sometimes more at risk for an infection that can lead to sepsis.
- Cuts, scrapes, and open wounds: Your skin is actually your first defense system to a bacterial infection. Any open wound is a breach of your natural defense and can give bacteria an entry point to your body.
- Antibiotic resistance: If your loved one had an infection in the past, they were possibly prescribed an antibiotic. While antibiotics are effective in treating infections and can even be a life-saving treatment, they also allow bacteria to evolve over time and fight back against the medication. The next time you are exposed to a similar strain of bacteria, the same antibiotic may not be as effective. Since there are a limited number of antibiotics, individuals who took a lot of medications over time are sometimes at a higher risk.
If your loved one is dependent, perhaps living in a nursing home or assisted living facility, their health is in the hands of trained caregivers. Sometimes caregivers make mistakes or fail to recognize the warning signs of sepsis. This is very hazardous to your health and could potentially be a form of negligence. If your loved one is experiencing symptoms of sepsis, seek immediate medical treatment for them if you have not already.
Keeping an eye out for the symptoms of a severe infection like sepsis can be lifesaving. If you notice any of the following symptoms in a loved one, have them see a doctor or medical professional as soon as possible:
- Increased white blood cell count
- Rapid heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
- Decreased mental capacity, confusion, and disorientation
- Low blood pressure
- Weakened pulse
If you recognize the symptoms of sepsis, take immediate action. Unfortunately, some individuals like nursing home residents rely on others for their daily care. The trained staff at these types of facilities should be able to recognize the dangerous symptoms of sepsis and take immediate action. Failure to do so could be a form of neglect and could put your loved one at risk.
Nursing Home Neglect
If your loved one suffered from sepsis while living in a nursing home that was preventable or treatable, you could take legal action. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are morally and legally obligated to provide care to the best of their ability. Failure to do so is a form of neglect. While every case is different, sometimes compensation is available for victims and family members.
For a free legal consultation with an sepsis lawyer serving New York City, call (800) 842-6336
Get Legal Help Today
If someone in your life suffered the negative health effects of sepsis because of the failure of a third party to provide adequate care, your loved one could be eligible for a financial award. This could include reimbursement for medical expenses related to sepsis, pain and suffering, and other damages. Speaking with a New York City sepsis lawyer can help you understand and evaluate your options. The New York City sepsis lawyer team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is available to answer your questions and discuss your case. Call today for your free case assessment.