Sepsis occurs when the body responds to a bacterial infection. In order to combat the infection, chemicals are released into the bloodstream that results in inflammatory responses throughout the body. This inflammation can prompt numerous changes in the body, causing organ damage and/or failure. Septic shock will occur if this progresses, with the danger of a persistent drop in blood pressure that can lead to death.
Tragically, cases of sepsis have been on the rise over the last several years. More than 1.5 million contract sepsis annually in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and about 250,000 patients die from it every year. Medical experts blame the rise of sepsis cases on an older patient population and an increase in drug-resistant bacteria.
If a medical provider’s negligence or misdiagnosis led to family member contracting sepsis, you need legal representation as soon as possible. Call the Denver medical malpractice lawyers at Burg Simpson at 303-792-5595 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation FORM right now.
According to the Mayo Clinic, most experts see sepsis as a condition with three phases: sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock. Each stage is progressively worse and deadlier than the one before and is identified by a set of symptoms particular to each stage:
- Mild fever
- Elevated pulse
- Elevated respiratory rate
- Steep drop in urine output
- Deteriorating mental status
- Drop in platelet count
- Labored breathing
- Erratic heart rate
- Abdominal pain
A patient is typically diagnosed with septic shock when they exhibit signs of severe sepsis, accompanied by exceptionally low blood pressure that does not respond to traditional treatment.
Any kind of infection can give rise to sepsis, but the CDC reports that some of the more common causes are:
- Pneumonia, and other lung infections accounted for 35 percent of cases.
- Kidney or urinary tract infections: 25 percent.
- Abdominal infections: 11 percent.
- Skin infections: 11 percent.
Patients who are either very young or very old are particularly vulnerable to sepsis. Other risk factors include:
- Patients with weakened immune systems.
- Wounds from surgery.
- Intensive care unit patients.
- Burn victims.
- Patients with catheters or who are on breathing tubes.
Contact Our Colorado Medical Lawsuit Lawyers Before its Too Late
Sepsis is a medical emergency that must be treated quickly. If the physician or hospital staff fails to treat or diagnose sepsis properly, it could result in cognitive problems, limb amputations, kidney failure, and/or the patient’s fingers, hands, toes, and feet dying and becoming gangrenous. In fact, septic shock is fatal in 50 percent of cases. If you or someone you love has contracted or survived sepsis, contact the Colorado medical malpractice lawyers at Burg Simpson by calling 303-792-5595 or please fill out our FREE Case Evaluation form here to be contacted directly.