Patents go to the hospital when suffering from a health condition expecting to get well. However, there are times that these patients will contract another illness while in the hospital. These “hospital acquired infections” are a significant problem in the United States. It has been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that every year there are more than 1.7 million cases of hospital-acquired infections, with 99,000 associated deaths.
There are many types of hospital acquired infections, but one major type is a blood infection, known as sepsis. Up to 750,000 people are affected by this blood infection every year in the United States. Of all the people placed in healthcare facilities, up to 2 percent will contract sepsis.
Sepsis is a very serious infection that occurs when a the immune system is trying to fight an infection. Instead of fighting the infection, the chemicals in the blood cause an inflammation across the body. This problem is so serious because it can affect the body’s organs and cause them damage. The inflammation leads to clotting of the blood when it should not and makes it difficult for the body to receive necessary oxygen and nutrients. In the worst cases, organs begin to fail if sceptic shock occurs.
Causes of Sepsis
Sepsis is a bacterial infection. The bacteria are able to enter the body through even the smallest skin laceration or through catheters or IVs.
There are certain groups of people more susceptible to contracting sepsis than others. Such people include those with weak immune systems, patients receiving treatment for cancer or suffering from HIV or AIDS, the elderly or infants, and people suffering from diabetes.
Symptoms of Sepsis
While the symptoms of sepsis differ depending of the origin of the infection, there are some more common symptoms, including:
- Rapid pulse and breathing,
- Fever or low body temperature,
- Diarrhea, and
- A decrease in urination.
If the patient is to have a good chance of recovery, medical professionals need to be vigilant regarding possible cases and act quickly to begin treatment. Testing for bacteria in the blood or administering X-rays or CT scans can help medical professionals determine whether a patient is suffering from sepsis.
If you or a loved one has contracted sepsis during a hospital stay, contact an experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney. We will look closely at all your medical records and history in evaluating your case. If evidence shows that the hospital staff failed to recognize the sins of sepsis and did not treat sepsis in a timely manner, you may have a case for medical malpractice.
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