Sepsis is a serious, potentially fatal infection that causes more fatalities in the U.S. than heart attacks. A recent study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that almost two thirds of the total 258,000 annual deaths were not diagnosed in time by doctors and nurses. In some cases, this could be considered medical negligence. In this post Chicago medical malpractice lawyer discusses what sepsis is and how delayed diagnosis can prove fatal.
What is Sepsis?
Any patient can suffer from sepsis. The infection may not only develop after a serious injury, it can occur after an injury as small as a paper cut. There was a case of woman who died from organ failure, caused by sepsis, after she scratched herself in the garden. She died because the doctor misdiagnosed her condition as trapped nerve. The other doctors she went to didn’t diagnose her correctly either, even after she started experiencing increased pain, vomiting and severe swelling. Her sepsis was diagnosed only after she went in for blood tests–but it was too late by then.
Early detection of Sepsis is key to recovery
According to the CDC, while delayed diagnosis sepsis can increase the risk of mortality, early detection can save lives. If the condition is diagnosed within six hours, the prognosis is pretty good. Another study has shown that the chances decrease over by 7 percent for each hour it goes untreated. The chances become bleak with every hour that the condition is left untreated.
Sepsis is difficult to diagnose
One reason that many cases of sepsis go undiagnosed and untreated is that there is no reliable test for it. Also, each patient experiences different symptoms. While there are some hospitals that have found ways to detect and prevent sepsis at an early stage, there are many others that still lack in this. One notable example is that of a hospital that has succeeded in bringing down its sepsis mortality rate by over 40 percent over the past decade. They have developed ways to treat sepsis quickly and aggressively. If one hospital can achieve such success rates, so can others.
Have someone close to you been a victim of delayed sepsis diagnosis?
As we said, sepsis is a potentially fatal condition if not detected and treated in time. Also, it is possible to prevent, detect and manage the condition. If you or someone close to you has suffered from complications or fatality as a result of delayed diagnosis of sepsis, you have the right to pursue compensation for all the losses you have suffered. However, it is not always as easy as it may seem.
Patients and their families are often victimized and troubled by hospitals and their insurance companies that would make all efforts to avoid paying compensation for the medical negligence. Also, the legal system is complex and it is usually not possible for a victim alone to navigate the system and get justice. So, it is important to seek help from a competent Chicago medical malpractice lawyer, who can help get the compensation you deserve.