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Did your bout of sepsis require a stay in the ICU?

Whether you were already in the hospital or had recently seen a doctor, you began to feel that something just wasn't right. As your condition began to deteriorate, doctors conducted an examination and diagnosed you with sepsis.

By the time you received this diagnosis, doctors put you into the intensive care unit for treatment. You may wonder how you got to this point and want to understand why you need this level of care.

How you got to this point

Sepsis is not what they call a primary condition. It occurs after the body begins responding to an infection of some kind. When your immune system attacks the infection, something goes wrong and your immune system attacks your body, which turns into the condition known as sepsis. Your symptoms probably began as follows:

  • Your heart had to work harder to do its job, so your pulse rate increased.
  • Your blood vessels dilated and caused your blood pressure to drop.
  • Your skin became pale and cold.
  • You found yourself breathing more quickly, and you became breathless.

You could even have developed a rash or marks on your skin in patchy colors or patterns. If doctors failed to diagnose your condition from these indicators, your symptoms probably progressed into the following:

  • Your breathing became more difficult.
  • Your urine output dropped.
  • Patches of your skin grew dark and possibly blistered.
  • You may have lost consciousness.
  • You may have become confused.
  • Your body retained fluid, which caused swelling.

By this point, your condition could lead to organ failure, which is part of the reason why you were put into the ICU.

How being in the ICU helps

Once in the ICU, your vital signs and condition receive close monitoring. While there, you receive anti-viral and anti-fungal medications, along with antibiotics. Doctors will probably also give you blood pressure medication, sedatives and painkillers to get you through this ordeal. Because you have trouble breathing, supplemental oxygen may be part of your treatment through either a gas mask or a breathing tube.

Other machines may be necessary in order to help your organs function while the medications and time do their job. You will more than likely need intravenous nutrition as well.

How did this happen?

As your condition improves, you may begin to wonder how doctors either missed your original infection or missed diagnosing your sepsis in time to spare you a trip to the ICU. You could end up with lifelong health issues as a result. Did you receive the appropriate standard of care? The answer to this question could result in the filing of a medical malpractice claim against the health care providers who let you down.

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