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Undetected Sepsis Presents a Lethal Danger to Illinois Nursing Home Residents

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

chicago nursing home abuse lawyerElderly residents of nursing home facilities often struggle with conditions that make it difficult to communicate. Dementia, confusion, weakened muscles in the mouth and throat, and illness or exhaustion can all challenge a patient’s ability to speak clearly and articulate what they are feeling. One unfortunate consequence of this is that patients may be suffering from pain or fever and be unable to let their caregivers know. 

Nursing home staff must be acutely aware of their patients’ condition and be on the alert for signs that something may be amiss. But when staff are overworked, undertrained, or if the nursing home’s resident-to-staff ratio is too high, serious problems may be left unnoticed. One particularly dangerous risk is an infection that becomes septic. Even if an infection is known, it can worsen and spread, presenting a potentially lethal danger to a resident. Recognizing and treating sepsis early is essential for preventing serious health consequences, up to and including death. 

Sepsis and Common Nursing Home Conditions

Sepsis is a condition caused by an infection that triggers an inappropriate full-body immune response. It requires immediate treatment to prevent tissue damage, major organ failure, and death. Sepsis can often be prevented through proper healthcare, but senior nursing home residents are at particular risk of developing sepsis because they often have catheters, bedsores, ulcers, multiple minor skin injuries, and other issues that make the development and spread of bacteria common. Their immune systems are often weakened and can be easily overwhelmed by bacteria that would present little or no challenge to a healthy body. 

Hospital staff, as a well as a patient’s family and friends, should keep an eye out for warning signs that sepsis may have set in, including: 

  • Fever, rash, or flushing

  • Rapid heart rate 

  • Shortness of breath

  • Confusion

Not all cases of sepsis are due to nursing home negligence or malpractice, but if staff should have recognized the signs of sepsis, or if they did recognize them but failed to act, the nursing home may be liable. 

Talk with a Cook County Nursing Home Infections Lawyer

Sepsis is a potentially lethal infection that can quickly put an elderly patient into a dangerous position if left undetected. If your loved one suffered or died from an infection that should have been diagnosed and treated, call the experienced Cook County nursing home injury attorneys wtih Schwartz Injury Law. We take each case seriously and will help you pursue justice on your loved one’s behalf whenever possible. Call us today at 312-535-4625



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