September is Sepsis Awareness Month, helping to raise awareness and save lives - sepsis is one of the leading causes of deaths in U.S. hospitals. Sepsis is often misdiagnosed, which can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Medical malpractice lawsuits require showing that the medical provider was negligent and breached his or her duty of patient care. When negligence exists, it is possible to pursue a valid claim with the help of a licensed medical malpractice lawyer.
If you or your loved one sustained serious injuries or death from sepsis, it is crucial to contact a qualified Knoxville medical malpractice attorney at Greg Coleman Law for assistance. We can discuss the specific circumstances surrounding your case during a free, no obligation legal consultation.
What is Sepsis?
Sepsis is caused by harmful bacteria and the toxins found in tissue. This condition generally begins because of a weak immune system response from chemicals in the bloodstream when fighting an infection. A patient with sepsis often experiences inflammation throughout his or her body.
This harmful condition is life-threatening and could lead to septic shock, failure of the organs or even blood pressure that drops to dangerous levels. Patients with chronic health issues have a significantly higher risk of developing sepsis.
Symptoms and Risk Factors
Infections and risks that commonly lead to sepsis include the following:
- Skin infections
- Infections in the stomach, intestinal tract or gut
- Urinary tract or kidney infection
- Lung infections such as pneumonia
Typical symptoms may include dropping blood pressure, system shock, rapid temperature changes and extreme reactions of the body. Even healthy patients are at risk for sepsis, depending on the hospital setting. Factors that can increase the risk of developing sepsis include too many patients, insufficient staff, poor medical equipment sterilization, unclean water and problems with the air filtration system.
Sepsis Diagnosis and Treatment
Doctors diagnose sepsis by monitoring heart and breathing rates, the temperature of the patient and blood tests. Other tests may also help uncover the condition, such as stool samples or a swab of the recent lacerations or open wounds on the body. The possible treatment depends on the severity of sepsis. The administered treatment may involve the following treatments:
- Administering oxygen
- Administering routine blood tests to determine the severity of the condition
- Antibiotics treatment
- Increase in IV fluids
- Measuring lactic acid in the blood and red blood cell protein
- Measuring urine production every hour
Where Medical Negligence Can Occur
Sepsis is one of the most common reasons for pursuing a medical malpractice claim. Sepsis may occur in hospitals, urgent care systems, emergency rooms and doctor’s clinics. All medical providers are required to provide a safe and sterile place to treat patients and to use their medical experience and knowledge to decrease possible risks.
Many initial symptoms are mild and overlooked as other conditions. Without the proper evaluation and treatment, the patient can suffer serious or fatal injury. In a medical malpractice case, you must demonstrate the following elements of negligence:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed between you and your doctor
- The doctor or health care facility acted negligently, breaching the medical standards of a care and not as a reasonable person would
- The doctor or hospital staff must have been directly responsibility for your injuries
- You must present sufficient evidence that shows the injury caused damages, such as the need for additional medical expenses and lost wages
Medical negligence is common with sepsis injuries. It is crucial to gather as much evidence about the incident as possible. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can gather medical records, medical bills, doctors’ notes, surgery footage and other evidence to help validate your claim and recover the compensation deserved.
Contact Greg Coleman Law to Review Your Legal Options
If you developed sepsis and suspect that it was caused by medical malpractice, contact our legal team at Greg Coleman Law to discuss your legal options. We will discuss the merits of your claim and answer any questions you have about establishing negligence. We have the knowledge and skills to present a claim to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you will not be charged any legal fees or costs unless we help you recover favorable compensation. Contact us to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your claim.