Sepsis, sometimes referred to as Septicemia or blood poisoning, is a potentially life-threatening complication from an infection that is not treated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than one million people are treated every year in the United States for sepsis. Unfortunately, more than 25 percent of these people will die.
When the body detects an infection, it releases chemicals into the bloodstream. This reaction produces an inflammatory response as the body’s immune system becomes activated. The problem is that the body’s inflammatory response to the chemicals released to counteract the infection can be so extensive that it blocks oxygen and critical nutrients from getting to the body’s organs. This can cause a patient to develop septic shock.
Sepsis has 3 recognized states. It begins sepsis, progresses to severe sepsis, and culminates in septic shock. Once sepsis evolves to septic shock, the patient’s vital organs become at risk for failing. Because each state becomes progressively more dangerous to the patient, early diagnosis and treatment to stop this progression are vital to patient outcomes.
Another reason that may require you to seek the help of sepsis malpractice attorneys in Pittsburgh is the delayed treatment of sepsis after diagnosis. If a healthcare provider fails to recognize the signs of sepsis in their patient, it could lead to the grounds for medical malpractice. If you or your loved one experienced either of these situations, you could explore your options to file a lawsuit against your healthcare provider.
Contact our Medical Malpractice Lawyers in the Pittsburgh area to help you with your medical malpractice claim.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF SEPSIS?
Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms associated with sepsis occur in many, much less serious conditions. As a result, the potential for sepsis is often overlooked. Nonetheless, the signs and symptoms of sepsis can include:
- High fever (more than 101 degrees)
- Low fever (less than 96 degrees)
- Increased heart rate (higher than 90 beats per minute)
- Increased respiratory rate (higher than 20 breaths per minute)
- Extremely elevated white blood count
In those patients who appear to be more ill than expected for their symptoms, sepsis needs to be considered and ruled out.
Since the symptoms of sepsis can be easily misidentified with many less severe conditions, it can be difficult to diagnose for some healthcare providers. Due to this reason, you must learn about the condition’s related risk factors, diagnostic practices, and treatment approaches. This helps you understand whether your healthcare provider had a good chance of diagnosing this life-threatening condition and if their fault is significant enough for you to file a lawsuit against them.
Work with our medical malpractice lawyers for sepsis issues such as blood clots and more.
Who Is At Risk?
It is important to remember that any infection can lead to sepsis. However, infections that begin in the bowel (peritonitis), bladder (pyelonephritis), bloodstream (from IV’s), surgical incisional wounds, the lungs (pneumonia), and the skin (Staph bacteremia) are typical infection sites that can lead to sepsis.
Although anyone can develop sepsis, the following individuals are at increased risk:
- Age 65 and older
- People with a blood-borne infection
- Patients with a compromised immune system
- Cancer patients
When a healthcare provider faces a patient with symptoms of sepsis, they need to identify the patient’s risk factors for the condition. This is one of the easiest and most significant ways to tell the signs of sepsis apart from other conditions and diseases. If your healthcare provider had failed to take this step and delayed the diagnosis, it gives you grounds to hire sepsis malpractice attorneys in the Pittsburgh area to handle your claim.
The critical point here is that there was a failure to diagnose the issue at hand, and a failure to diagnose the issue can create a wide array of problems. This is where an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can be of help. If you notice sepsis infection, medical emergency, blood flow, blood pressure, or similar issues due to a failure to diagnose, reach out to our professionals at
For those patients with suspected sepsis, evaluation of their white blood count, SED rate, and C-reactive protein level will help generally determine whether a patient is suffering from an infection. However, a blood culture will permit the identification of the specific bacterial organism causing the patient’s infection. Failure to diagnose can be considered sepsis medical malpractice, and you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if this is the case.
Due to this reason, you need to remember and determine if your healthcare provider paid attention to performing the required diagnostics. Otherwise, you can file a claim while knowing that you have a high chance of winning compensation.
If you see issues that range from a minor infection to blood pressure and experience an incident where septic shock occurs, reach out to our personal injury law firm and our sepsis lawyer team today.
Treatment for Sepsis
Because it often takes several days for the blood cultures to identify the exact organism causing the infection, a patient with a suspected infection is often started on what is known as a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Once the correct organism is identified, the antibiotic medications can be targeted to fight the specific bacteria causing the infection. In septic patients, it is sometimes necessary to support them with oxygen and fluids.
If your healthcare provider waited too long to administer treatment or overlooked the urgency of the situation, it increases your chances to pursue a medical practice lawsuit successfully. Through the help of sepsis malpractice attorneys in Pittsburgh, you can achieve this feat under the qualified guidance of seasoned legal experts.
Sepsis that progresses from severe sepsis to septic shock can lead to catastrophic results. While sepsis can be effectively treated, those patients who are elderly, very young, or who have weakened immune systems, are less likely to combat sepsis, and their prognosis is typically worse.
Patients who are fortunate to survive sepsis often experience lengthy hospitalizations, organ failure, extensive rashes, and difficult recoveries. One of the very rare, but worst complications of severe sepsis, is the loss of fingers and toes from peripheral vascular gangrene.
HOW CAN A SEPSIS MALPRACTICE LAWYER HELP YOU?
When you reach out to sepsis medical malpractice lawyers at Frischman & Rizza, our highly qualified legal team springs into action to help you attain your desired outcome from the case.
By successfully proving the fault or negligence of the healthcare provider or facility responsible for mishandling your sepsis case, our attorneys allow you to obtain financial awards for the pain and healthcare challenges you faced during the ordeal. If you lost a family member to sepsis, medical malpractice, this also holds true.
Our legal experts take care of the following aspects to provide you with the required legal assistance.
Our legal support process starts with a detailed consultation where we understand the facts of your case and determine if you have strong legal grounds to file a sepsis medical malpractice lawsuit.
The next step comes in collecting medical reports and authentic opinions from qualified doctors. If any additional documentation is required, we also make it a point to gather it on your behalf.
After we have sufficient documentation, we file a lawsuit on your behalf. This executes the formal legal process in the court of law and notifies the pertinent healthcare provider of your claim.
Our sepsis malpractice attorneys in Pittsburgh represent your interests to the court and explain how the healthcare provider’s negligence or delayed inaction led to the complications in your or your loved one’s sepsis case.
It is common for healthcare providers to offer out-of-court settlements in medical malpractice cases. If this happens, we inform you of the offer and respect your decision to either entertain it or continue moving forward with the case.
Whether by settlement or the court’s decision, we aim to acquire your desired compensation. After the process is complete, you can obtain the peace of mind of attaining justice for your trouble.
To see how our attorneys can help you with your case, don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation today. We will be glad to understand your concerns and guide you through the process right away.