Sepsis

Septicemia, more commonly called sepsis, occurs when a person develops a bacterial infection in their bloodstream. In a healthy person, white blood cells will normally remove bacteria from the body’s blood, but when an unusually large amount of bacteria is present they can become overwhelmed, resulting in the person developing septicemia. This will often occur in conjunction with the development of a serious infection in another part of the body such as infections of the skin or the respiratory or gastrointestinal systems. Sepsis may also correlate with meningitis (an infection in the nervous system), and in advanced cases can lead to infections in the brain or heart, often resulting in death. Symptoms of septicemia include fevers, chills, loss of appetite, rapid respiration, or an irregular heartbeat.

One of the most common points of infection that may develop into septicemia is the skin. The skin acts as the major barrier to both bacteria and viruses, and when a cut, surgical incision, or other open wound allows a bacterial infection to enter the body and develop it can result in sepsis. Injuries that could develop into sepsis don’t just include those caused by accidents: surgical sites, insertion points for intravenous lines, medication ports, and places where the skin has broken down like decubitus ulcers, skin grafts, and bed sores are prone to developing sepsis as well, particularly if not properly managed by medical personnel. Because of this it is particularly important in a nursing home or other long term care facility for steps to be taken to monitor the skin for signs of bedsores, and actively taking measures to prevent them from developing.

If a patient develops sepsis due to being improperly or negligently treated or monitored in a clinical setting the medical personnel tasked with caring for the patient can often be held liable for it. Developing septicemia can kill patients that would have made a full recovery from their original medical complaints or injuries. And, due to the development of a variety of different strains of highly drug resistant bacterial strains in hospital settings, cases of septicemia have become much harder to treat than they have been in the past, making it even more critical that medical staff act with the proper methods and levels of care when treating patients.

When pursuing a wrongful death suit originating in a case of septicemia, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the victim’s death was due to the sepsis, and that it was contracted due to the negligence of, or improper treatment by, the medical staff responsible for the victim’s care.

Contact Levin & Perconti

If you believe that a loved one has developed septicemia in a hospital or extended care facility because of negligence or improper treatment administered by the medical professionals responsible for their treatment in Chicago or the greater Illinois area, it is important that you take action quickly. Contact the expert attorneys at Levin & Perconti today, online or by telephone at 877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney.

Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Blog - Sepsis