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Nursing Home Residents Can Die From Sepsis If Infections Are Not Treated Properly

Posted on in Sepsis

Chicago nursing home injury attorneysMost nursing home residents live in a care facility because they have mental and physical health problems that significantly decrease their ability to care for themselves. Residents may need assistance with daily living tasks such as bathing, eating, and using the restroom, as well as help managing their medical conditions. Nursing home staff are expected to monitor residents’ health for signs of new or worsening medical conditions. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are dangerously understaffed and residents may not be as monitored as closely as they should be. One major concern for elderly and ill nursing home residents is a condition called sepsis.  

What Is Sepsis?

When a bacterium, virus, or other disease-causing pathogen enters an individual’s body, the body’s immune system immediately starts to attack the pathogen. The healthier a person’s immune system is, the more likely it is to fight off the pathogen before it can start spreading. However, when pathogens multiply faster than the immune system can fight them, an infection can develop. Some of the most common infections that nursing home residents suffer from include skin infections caused by wounds or bedsores, diabetic wound infections, vascular ulcers, respiratory infections, and urinary tract infections.

When the immune system targets these infections, it releases certain chemicals into the bloodstream. These chemicals can sometimes cause tissues and organs to become severely inflamed. This condition is called sepsis. If sepsis is not treated properly and promptly, it can lead to death.

Negligence May Be to Blame For Sepsis-Related Injuries and Deaths

Nursing home residents typically have a range of existing medical concerns when they enter a nursing home. Because their bodies are already weakened, any new medical conditions can be extremely damaging and possibly deadly. This is why it is so essential for nursing home staff to monitor residents for signs of infection and treat any infections that develop accurately and quickly.

Symptoms that may indicate that a resident has developed sepsis include a fever above 101 degrees, heart rate over 90 beats per minute, and high breathing rate. Severe sepsis often results in discolored skin, low platelet count, significant breathing difficulties, and unconsciousness. If a nursing home staff member fails to recognize the signs of sepsis and a patient suffers injury or death as a result, the facility may be liable.

Contact a Chicago Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer

When nursing home staff members and management do not fulfill their obligation to monitor residents for dangerous medical conditions like sepsis, the nursing home may be considered negligent. If your loved one has suffered or passed away due to sepsis while living in a nursing home, contact Schwartz Injury Law today. Call 312-535-4625 and schedule a free consultation with an experienced Cook County nursing home injury attorney to discuss your questions and concerns.

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3526889/

https://www.healthline.com/health/sepsis

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