When nursing home residents do not receive proper care, they are susceptible to a number of serious health issues, such as infections and sepsis. These issues can be severe and may even be life-threatening if they are not properly treated. This is particularly true for elderly individuals, as their bodies tend to be weaker and less able to fight off infections.
If your loved one fell ill with an infection or died as a result of sepsis while under the care of a nursing home facility, you may be entitled to take legal action. While financial compensation cannot undo what has happened, it can assist with the cost of unexpected medical expenses and funeral/burial costs. Legal action can also be used to hold the negligent parties accountable and help ensure that other people do not have to go through the same thing.
Discuss your legal options with one of our nursing home neglect attorneys in Houston; call (713) 714-5089 or contact us online to get started.
Common Causes of Sepsis
Sepsis occurs when an infection enters the bloodstream, leading to inflammation throughout the body.
This can occur as a result of any type of infection but is most common in certain infections, including:
- Kidney infections
- Abdominal infections
- Infections of the blood
Elderly individuals tend to have weakened immune systems, putting them at a higher risk of sepsis. It is also often more difficult for their bodies to recover from sepsis, meaning they are more likely to suffer severe, life-altering complications and death. Additional risk factors for sepsis include the use of catheters and intubation devices, certain preexisting conditions, and some autoimmune diseases.
Stages of Sepsis
There are three stages of sepsis:
- Stage One: Symptoms include a fever (101.3 degrees Fahrenheit or higher) or internal temperature below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, rapid breathing, and increased heart rate
- Stage Two: Symptoms include difficulty breathing, abnormal heart rate, pain in the abdomen, decreased urination, and mental changes
- Stage Three: Symptoms include a sharp drop in blood pressure and shock; stage three sepsis commonly leads to death
If sepsis is caught and quickly addressed while it is still in one of the two earlier stages, it is possible for the patient to recover, though this may be more difficult depending on the patient’s overall health and risk factors. Once sepsis has entered stage three, however, it is very difficult for a patient to fully recover or recover at all.
Are Nursing Home Infections & Sepsis Caused by Negligence?
In many cases, infections and sepsis occur as a result of nursing home negligence. This may be the case if a patient did not receive proper medical care and therefore developed an infection that led to sepsis. It may also be the case if nursing home caregivers were aware that a resident had an infection but failed to properly treat it. Lack of training or knowledge may also cause caregivers to fail to notice and respond to the signs of sepsis in time.
If you believe that your loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse or negligence, Stepp & Sullivan, P.C. can help. Our Houston-based nursing home abuse attorneys have more than 60 years of combined legal experience; we can help you clearly understand your legal options and fight for the justice you and your family deserve. Our firm assists nursing home abuse and neglect clients in Houston and Chicago.
Get in touch with us at (713) 714-5089 or contact us online to schedule a confidential case evaluation.