Sepsis is a complicated immunological response that causes the victim’s bodily functions to rapidly breakdown. If untreated, sepsis usually leads to death. Even when treatment is delayed by mere hours, the patient can be left with negative consequences that affect them the rest of their lives.
Patients aren’t in the best position to recognize that they’re going septic, so it’s pretty much up to doctors and nurses to spot the signs of trouble. However, family members and other loved ones can play a critical role in making sure that medical professionals are alerted to any potential problems.
Who is most at risk for sepsis?
Young children, the elderly and people with immunological disorders are particularly prone to sepsis. Children are in more danger than most simply because they can’t easily communicate a problem and some of the symptoms that appear in adults may not be as visible in infants and toddlers.
What should you watch for? Signs include:
- Generalized weakness and lethargy
- Confusion, agitation and abnormal mental states
- Pale, dry skin and dry mucous membranes
- A rapid, thready heartbeat
- Dehydration that doesn’t seem to relent with fluids
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Unexplained fevers that don’t respond to treatment
If your loved one is showing any of these signs after surgery, during a hospital stay or while recovering in a nursing home, alert the nursing staff or doctor immediately and ask for a workup for sepsis. Don’t be shy about raising a false alarm, either. It’s better to be wrong than ignore something serious.
If you or your loved one suffered a severe infection that was ignored by medical professionals until it left you with permanent injuries or caused your loved one’s death, find out more about your legal options today.