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The Dangers of Sepsis for Nursing Home Patients

 Posted on September 07, 2018 in Sepsis

Chicago nursing home neglect attorneysYou have probably heard about the condition known as sepsis. Sepsis refers to a particular type of complication that can arise from an infection in a person’s body. Unfortunately, the kinds of infections that are at risk for sepsis are all too common among patients in hospitals and nursing homes. When sepsis is not treated properly, it can cause a host of problems for the patient, including death. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, it is important to know as much as you can about this dangerous condition.

What Is Sepsis?

Also called septicemia, sepsis occurs when certain chemicals are released into the bloodstream to fight an infection and those chemicals cause inflammatory responses throughout a person’s body. The inflammation can then lead to a chain reaction of events that could cause damage to vital organs, eventually shutting them down. If sepsis continues without treatment, the patient’s blood pressure could drop dramatically—a condition known as septic shock. Septic shock can be quickly fatal.

Failure to Diagnose or Treat Sepsis

When a person is inpatient at a hospital or is a resident of a nursing home, he or she should be under appropriate supervision. This means that they are to be monitored regularly for any signs of an infection or sepsis. Those who have recently had surgery or who have open wounds are generally at the highest risk for infection. It is up to the nursing staff to test often for infections, especially among residents who are at risk.

In order to be diagnosed with sepsis, a patient must have a confirmed or probable infection and at least two of the following:

  • A temperature above 101 F or below 96.8 F;
  • A heart rate of more than 90 beats per minute; and
  • A respiratory rate of 20 breaths per minute.

Sepsis can set in very quickly. If the first signs of the infection are missed, the patient’s condition could deteriorate rapidly, even with emergency medical attention.

Seeking Compensation

The sad reality is that when sepsis is often fatal. By the time nursing home staff members realize what is happening, the patient’s body has already started shutting down. Inadequate staffing and poor training tend to contribute to infections and sepsis being overlooked in nursing home patients. Even when sepsis is not fatal, the damage caused by the condition may be irreversible.

If a loved one has been diagnosed with sepsis while in a nursing home or if sepsis contributed to your loved one’s premature death, contact an experienced Illinois nursing home neglect attorney. Our compassionate team will meet with you to discuss your available options for holding the nursing home accountable. Call 312-535-4625 for a free consultation today.



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