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An undiagnosed infection from gallstones can lead to sepsis

The gallbladder stores bile for your liver. When hardened deposits develop in this small organ, they become gallstones. You may be lucky enough for these stones to pass out of your gallbladder without causing you any harm.

Then again, you may not be quite so lucky. Gallstones can lead to inflammation, infection and blockage of your gallbladder. Your doctor may need to remove it. However, if your doctor fails to diagnose the infection in enough time, you could contract sepsis, which is your body's extreme response to the infection and can put you in the hospital and jeopardize your life.

How do you know if you have gallstones?

You may not even notice small stones, but when they increase in size or number, you could suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Pain below your breastbone that only increases
  • Pain in the upper right portion of your abdomen that only increases
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in your right shoulder
  • Pain between your shoulder blades
  • Urine the color of tea
  • Intense abdominal pain
  • Yellowing skin and eyes
  • High fever and chills

If you experience any of these symptoms, you may want to see a doctor. If you experience the last four symptoms, you may want to go to the emergency room. If doctors fail to diagnose your condition correctly, they may send you home without treatment. The longer the infection goes undiagnosed and treated, the greater the possibility is that you could end up with sepsis.

How do you know if you have sepsis?

If your gallbladder infection continues, you could begin experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Severe discomfort or pain
  • Shivering
  • Fever
  • Low body temperature
  • Shortness of breath
  • Discolored or pale skin
  • Sleepiness
  • Difficult to rouse

Some people describe sepsis as feeling as though they will die. In any case, if you experience these symptoms, you need medical attention right away. Doctors may move quickly to get you the appropriate treatment for this condition and your gallbladder, but by the time you have sepsis, your doctor already missed the opportunity to properly diagnose the underlying condition that led to sepsis.

The delay or mistake in your diagnosis cost you more than just your gallbladder. You probably needed more medical care than you would have otherwise. You might even have ended up in the intensive care unit before it was all over. You could experience lingering effects from your ordeal as well. Under these circumstances, you may be able to pursue compensation for your associated financial losses and other damages.

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