Each and every year in the United States, 1.1 million people sustain burn injuries that require medical attention, according to the American Burn Association. Approximately 50,000 of these require hospitalization and up to 10,000 people in the United States die every year due to burn-related infections. If you or a loved one have developed an infection while hospitalized for burns, please continue reading, then contact an experienced Houston, Texas sepsis infection lawyer today.
How common is sepsis after hospitalization for burns in Texas?
Burn injuries continue to be one of the leading causes of unintentional death and injury in the United States. The primary causes of burn injury include fire/flame, scalds and contact with a hot object, electricity or chemicals. Today, almost 97 percent of those treated for burns will survive. Nevertheless, one of the most common complications of burns is sepsis. Sepsis is defined as “severe organ dysfunction attributed to the host’s disordered response to infection” and is the primary cause of death in burn patients.
Why is sepsis so dangerous to burn victims in Texas?
Among burn patients, sepsis is extremely common and dangerous, because the victims have already lost the primary barrier to infectious invasions: Their skins. In addition, patients with extensive burns develop a profound hypermetabolic response that persists for months.
All that being said, hospitals are not automatically fault-free if a burn patient dies due to sepsis. You can hold a hospital accountable for giving you or your loved one sepsis in the following ways:
- Central lines: Because central lines, also called central venous catheters or intravenous catheters (IV), are inserted into major veins and kept in place for long durations, the risk of infection is high.
- Urinary tract infections: Inserted into the urethra to drain urine, urinary catheters are among the leading causes of sepsis in hospital settings.
- Site infections: If not properly cleaned, covered and taken care of during recovery, wounds can attract bacteria.
- Ventilator-associated pneumonia: Ventilator tubes may provide an avenue for bacteria to travel into the victim’s lungs.
- Hygiene and sanitation: Unsanitary conditions, including nurses and other medical personnel not properly washing their hands, can breed the bacteria that cause infection and give said bacteria an avenue into the burn patient’s body.
Regardless of how you contracted sepsis while in a hospital setting, you should strongly consider retaining the services of a skilled Houston, Texas hospital error lawyer as soon as possible. It is important that you hold negligent healthcare providers accountable when they fall below or deviate from the accepted standard of care because they will have no incentive to change their behavior otherwise.
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If you or a loved one suffered from medical malpractice, contact the law firm of Davis & Davis today for a free consultation.