Knoxville Sepsis & Sepsis Shock Attorney
A functioning immune system is essential to health. When a person contracts a virus or bacteria, their immune system should mount a response which targets the germ. Unfortunately, sometimes our immune systems attack healthy tissue in the body, leading to sepsis.
Sepsis and sepsis shock are medical conditions which are fortunately preventable—but only if medical professionals respond in time. Every minute counts. When hospitals and doctors are negligent or delay diagnosis, thousands of patients can die. The Knoxville sepsis attorney at Atkins Brezina, PLLC can help.
What is Sepsis?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 1.7 million people develop sepsis, with 270,000 dying each year. But what is this dangerous condition?
Essentially, sepsis occurs when the body’s immune response ends up damaging healthy tissue. Consequently, a person with sepsis suffers the risk of having organs shut down and potentially dying.
What is Sepsis Shock?
Sepsis shock is the final stage of sepsis. It occurs when a patient’s blood pressure drops so much the heart cannot deliver oxygen to other parts of the body and organs are damaged. Some damage might only be temporary and respond to rehab, but some patients have organs die or need amputations. The risk of death increases dramatically when a patient suffers sepsis shock.
What are Signs of Sepsis?
Usually, sepsis starts with a bacterial infection in the lungs, skin, or gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes a virus also causes sepsis.
Patients and family members should look for the following warning signs:
- Fever or chills
- Extreme pain
- Shortness of breath
- High heart rate
Monitor a loved one’s symptoms closely to see if they begin to escalate, and seek immediate medical attention if they do.
Can Doctors Fight Sepsis?
Yes. They can start antibiotic treatment immediately and possibly increase blood pressure by administering vasopressors. Patients usually need supportive care, such as oxygen, to help them deliver oxygen to all parts of their body. You can survive sepsis—about 4 out of 5 patients survive.
How Does Medical Malpractice Affect Sepsis?
Because immediate care is vital, any delayed care can lead to tragedy. Unfortunately, overburdened or negligent doctors and hospitals can make matters worse by:
- Failing to correctly diagnose sepsis
- Delaying diagnosis
- Ordering the wrong treatment or failing to order correct treatment promptly
- Failing to see a patient promptly (“getting lost in the shuffle”)
- Neglecting to properly monitor a patient during and after treatment
- Overlooking red flags in a patient’s medical history (such as prior sepsis)
Any of these mistakes can easily worsen a patient’s condition. And these mistakes are avoidable when hospitals and medical professionals follow the correct standard of care.
Can You Sue for Sepsis or Sepsis Shock?
Yes, if medical malpractice made your condition worse. Sepsis survivors often suffer from complications which cost them time and money. According to the Sepsis Alliance, for example, about 1% of all sepsis survivors needed a limb amputated. Other patients will need dialysis for kidney damage or even an organ transplant.
About half of all patients suffer from post-sepsis syndrome, which manifests as chronic pain, impaired memory, sleep disturbances, and chronic fatigue. This pain and suffering also warrants financial compensation when a doctor commits medical malpractice.
Contact a Knoxville Medical Malpractice Lawyer at Atkins Brezina, PLLC
Our law firm can analyze whether you have a legal case claim against a doctor or hospital. If a loved one died, we can also discuss a possible wrongful death lawsuit. Call us today.