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In US hospitals, sepsis is the leading cause of death

| Sep 28, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

Sepsis is a two-edged sword for patients in Texas hospitals. On the one hand, it’s the body’s attempt to respond to an injury or infection. On the other hand, it is a very serious medical condition that can lead to amputation, organ failure, tissue damage, or even death.

Sepsis begins as the body’s immune response to a threat, such as a serious infection or injury. This immune response can overwhelm the body and cause organ failure and damage to the body. Individuals with compromised immune systems, children and older adults are at higher-than-average risk for sepsis. However, anyone can develop sepsis, even people who are generally healthy.

The good news here is sepsis is very treatable when it is caught early. According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, every hour that treatment is not given, the risk of death from sepsis increases by up to 8%. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to any infection and recognize the signs of sepsis.

A doctor can diagnose sepsis through an evaluation of a patient’s symptoms, history and tests like urine or blood. Once sepsis is diagnosed, the patient will be treated with fluids and antibiotics. Depending on the severity, some patients might need dialysis, a ventilator or to be put on oxygen.

Those who do recover from serious sepsis may experience lingering effects. These lingering effects are collected under an umbrella called post-sepsis syndrome (PSS). Symptoms of PSS might include, sleep difficulties, panic attacks, disabling pain in muscles or joints, panic attacks, hallucinations, depression and decreased mental function.

It’s not always possible to prevent sepsis; however, the risk of serious side effects drops if action is taken quickly. Such steps can include practicing good wound care and hygiene, getting medical help for suspected infection and keeping current with vaccinations.

If family members suspect that medical malpractice is part of the cause of a patient’s serious sepsis case, then compensation might be warranted. An attorney who understands medical malpractice and the seriousness of untreated sepsis can review a case and discuss possible legal options.

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