Sepsis is a dangerous health condition that if left untreated, can result in death. This dangerous disease is caused when chemicals are released into the bloodstream to fight infection, but instead, end up attacking the body’s internal organs. Sepsis is also called “blood poisoning,” although poison has nothing to do with the development of this condition.
The elderly population, which is made up of older adults who are aged 65 years and up, is especially at risk for sepsis due to weakened immune systems and other health conditions. If a loved one develops sepsis while in a nursing home, they must receive immediate medical attention. Failing to prevent the infection or to provide proper medical care may be a result of negligence by the nursing home facility.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC), It’s Time To Talk About Sepsis brochure, sepsis claims the lives of at least 250,000 Americans each year.
Certain populations are more at risk of developing sepsis than others, including:
- Elderly people
- People with preexisting health conditions, such as diabetes or cancer
- People with weak immune systems
- Children under the age of one
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Elderly People Most at Risk for Sepsis
The elderly have a higher risk of developing sepsis in a nursing home due to:
- A weakened immune system.
- Any chronic or serious illness, like cancer or diabetes.
- A pressure injury due to sitting in a wheelchair or lying in bed.
- Infection following surgery.
Nursing homes must take extra precautions to prevent the development of sepsis in their residents. This involves maintaining a sterile facility and having a trained staff who can quickly recognize signs of sepsis in patients.
Elderly patients with limited mobility face developing bedsores, which can become infected and lead to sepsis. If caregivers do not assist residents in changing positions or quickly tend to emerging bedsores, the patient is at an increased risk of developing an infection.
Additionally, data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that 72% of nursing homes did not have or adhered to an infection-control program in place to manage disease outbreaks. This explains why over 25,000 nursing home patients were transferred from their living facility to a hospital after developing sepsis.
If a loved one has suffered from sepsis, you may want to examine the conditions that led to their diagnosis.
How Doctors Diagnose Sepsis
Doctors diagnose sepsis by performing blood tests and checking for organ damage. Sepsis can easily develop into septic shock, which is a rare condition that has a 50% mortality rate. Physical signs and symptoms of possible sepsis shock include:
- Low blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
- Cell abnormalities
There are numerous health conditions that exhibit similar symptoms, making sepsis difficult to diagnose in its early stages. This is why immediate medical attention is essential for promoting recovery.
Steps to Take if You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect
The elderly are among the most vulnerable when it comes to mistreatment. Some patients may not have the cognitive skills to report neglect. Many others do not file reports due to fear of retaliation. The following steps can help you to develop a plan if you suspect nursing home neglect or abuse:
- Document everything. Take pictures, make notes, and interview witnesses.
- Discuss your concerns with overseeing administration.
- If nothing improves, remove your loved one from the facility.
- Report suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities.
If there is a sudden change in the behavior or health of your loved one, this may be a reason to suspect elder abuse or neglect. It is important to take action immediately by speaking with a nursing home sepsis lawyer to prevent any further illnesses or injuries.
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Call a Nursing Home Sepsis Lawyer Today For a Free Consultation
Entrusting the care of your loved one to a nursing home is difficult. When you discover that your loved one is not receiving the care they need and deserve, you must take action.
Securing legal representation provides you with the additional knowledge and resources you need to file your claim. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we work hard to secure fair compensation for our clients. If we are unable to reach a settlement out of court, we are ready and willing to go to trial.
Protect your best interests with a free consultation with a member of our team. There are no out-of-pocket expenses unless we secure compensation for you. Time is of the essence due to the statute of limitations in your state. Act now. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 201-3999 to speak to a nursing home sepsis lawyer.