Sepsis is a medical term used to describe the body’s extreme reaction to an infection. Although anyone can suffer from sepsis, individuals over the age of 65 or those with compromised immune systems are most at risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 250,000 people in the US die from sepsis each year. To put this into perspective, slightly over 40,000 deaths in the US during 2016 were caused by auto accidents. Sepsis is also the leading cause of death in hospitals across the country.
This life-threatening condition may be caused by the actions of negligent health care providers. In a health care setting, death or injury from sepsis could be caused by factors that include:
- Unsanitary conditions: There could be an increased risk of sepsis in hospitals and nursing homes with unsanitary conditions. Central line infections are one way you could develop sepsis. You may develop sepsis following a surgical procedure (surgical site infection).
- Poor patient care: Hospital or nursing home patients with limited mobility can develop pressure sores if they are not taken care of by staff. Pressure ulcers could become infected, which may lead to sepsis. Certain types of health conditions, like diabetes, can lead to sores that are at risk of becoming infected.
- Medical errors: You could develop sepsis and be misdiagnosed with a less harmful condition. Certain types of surgical mistakes, such as organ perforation, could lead to an infection and sepsis.
- Failure to treat an infection: If for any reason health care providers fail to treat an infection, then you could develop sepsis.
Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for Sepsis?
Although sepsis is fatal 15 to 30 percent of the time, some people survive with long-term effects. Amputations are sometimes required to treat this condition. The CDC also maintains that psychological trauma or organ damage is possible after surviving sepsis.
You should speak with a medical malpractice attorney right away if you suspect negligence caused you or a loved one to develop this condition. The New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Donald G. Targan & Associates have experience handling medical malpractice claims. By speaking to one of our attorneys, you could determine whether your situation was caused by medical malpractice. You can read more about our success with medical malpractice lawsuits by exploring our website.