Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening medical condition that develops as a reaction to an infection somewhere in the body. According to MedlinePlus, when the body’s immune system causes too much inflammation, delicate tissue and organs can become damaged. In the worst instance, a case of sepsis rises to the level of septic shock, when inflammation lowers the blood pressure to the extent that is life-threatening, according to StatPearls.
While it is possible to recover from sepsis, it can cause a series of symptoms and long-lasting effects for a patient. Some of the immediate effects of sepsis, according to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, may include:
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid heart rate
Long-term effects of sepsis may also complicate any preexisting medical conditions, making it harder for elderly residents to fully recover. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), other long-term effects include:
- Organ damage
- Difficulty sleeping
- Limb amputations
- Cognitive impairment
For an elderly adult, sepsis can also weaken their immune system and make them more susceptible to illnesses during their recovery.
Nursing Home Responsibilities
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that nursing homes must establish specific protocols to prevent and control infections on their premises. Without this protocol, daily activities can easily lead to the spread of infection in a nursing home, compromising the residents who are already immune-compromised.
This is why any nursing home that accepts Medicare must, by law, follow certain standards of care and regulations. The Nursing Home Reform Act mandates that nursing homes only hire trained and certified staff members to assist residents with both their daily needs and medical needs.
As trained caregivers, nursing home staff members should be aware of the dangers associated with sepsis. When treating a wound like a bedsore, caregivers must make sure to change a patient’s bandages regularly to reduce the risk of them developing an infection. They also need to make sure to sanitize their hands thoroughly before moving on to treat another patient, for example.
If a nursing home fails to take the appropriate amount of caution, especially with a patient who is already at risk for sepsis, they can cause medical repercussions that last the patient’s entire life or costs them their life. If sepsis occurs as a direct result of a caregiver’s actions or lack of actions, this could classify as negligence on behalf of the nursing home. A case of negligence involving sepsis can render a nursing home liable for the injuries and losses that result.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-712-9119
Holding a Nursing Home Liable for a Case of Sepsis
When a nursing home violates their federal and state regulations to provide a safe and sanitary environment for their residents, the residents or their family members have options to take legal action against them.
First, a resident or family member usually begins by filing a complaint with the nursing home and the state. From there, they may make a claim with a nursing home’s insurance provider or even file a personal injury or medical malpractice case against the nursing home.
Their case would be dependent upon their ability to prove that the victim’s sepsis resulted from negligence on behalf of the nursing home or caregiver. Families do not have to face the legal process alone, though. They can choose to have legal representation.
Seeking Legal Counsel and Representation
If your elderly loved one developed sepsis while living in a nursing home, you might qualify to hold the nursing home liable for compensation. Sepsis can result in a long recovery process and more medical expenses for the family, and in some cases, it proves entirely preventable. A victim and their family should not have to bear the burden of the nursing home’s negligence on their own.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC can handle your sepsis case. We can investigate the circumstances that led to the diagnosis and determine if negligence played a role in the development of an infection in your loved one.
We believe that our society should protect our elderly adults and treat them with the respect they deserve. We work on a contingency fee basis so that we can get to work right away on a case. You will not have to pay any up-front or out-of-pocket fees for our legal services as we only collect payment if we secure a financial recovery on your behalf.
For a free case review to determine your legal options, give us a call at 800-959-1444.